NC Wants 4th Circuit Stay in Voting Case, Pending #SCOTUS Decision to Hear Case

See this motion filed by the state of North Carolina in the voting case.

As ELB readers will recall, the 4th Circuit blocked aspects of North Carolina’s voting law, including its strict voter id law, on grounds the law was passed with racially discriminatory intent.

The state’s option to appeal would be to ask either the full 4th circuit en banc to hear the appeal or to go to the Supreme Court.

In the motion filed now, NC says it is going to file a cert. petition appealing the case to the Supreme Court, within the 90 days of judgment allowed by the rules. So nothing more in the 4th Circuit.

It may be that NC will seek emergency relief from the Supreme Court when the panel, as I fully expect, denies this motion. But there’s no mention that NC will seek such emergency relief with the Supreme Court if this is denied. If the state does so, it is pretty clear from the citations to Purcell, that the state will be arguing that it is too late to implement these changes in time for the election under the Purcell principle.

I rate the chances of emergency relief only fair, because there is enough time to implement most of these changes before the election.

I also expect a denial of the cert petition, for reasons stated in my NYT oped: “the changing composition of the Supreme Court and the lower courts makes sustaining such rules less likely. If the conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia were still alive, Texas would have raced to the Supreme Court with an emergency petition, but there are no longer five justices willing to uphold restrictive voting laws. The lower courts are also changing. A few years ago, if North Carolina had appealed the decision to the full Fourth Circuit, the state probably would have won. But retirements and new judges have turned the Fourth Circuit into a much more liberal court.”

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