On February 2, 2015, Judicial Watch joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) to file an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in opposition to a lower court ruling preventing North Carolina’s implementation of its election integrity reform law. Judicial Watch and AEF argue that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit incorrectly placed “disproportionate impact” racial theory at the center of its analysis of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).
The JW/AEF brief also makes the point that the plaintiffs challenging the North Carolina law (with the support of the Justice Department) are reinterpreting federal voting rights law to subject every state in the Union to legal challenges, including enforcement actions from the DOJ, for virtually any change to their election laws:
[T]he Fourth Circuit’s ruling, if allowed to stand, will undermine voter confidence in the integrity of elections, enshrine a new race-based standard in Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and guarantee, as a practical matter, that no state will make changes to its electoral laws, whether to ensure electoral integrity or for any other reason, if those changes will in some way disproportionately affect minority voters. As this Court has explained, public confidence in the integrity of elections encourages citizen participation in the democratic process… Conversely, a lack of faith in electoral integrity undermines confidence in the system and discourages citizen participation in democracy.