Via Chris Geidner’s story on the Supreme Court’s refusal (on a 4-4 deadlock) to stay the 4th Circuit order stopping some of North Carolina’s strict voting laws, comes this curious statement from North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory:
“North Carolina has been denied basic voting rights already granted to more than 30 other states to protect the integrity of one person, one vote through a common-sense voter ID law,” McCrory said in the statement. “Even without any support from our state’s attorney general, we were pleased that four justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, agreed with this right while four liberal justices blocked North Carolina protections afforded by our sensible voter laws.”
So we have been thinking about these cases as pitting the voting rights of voters (who after all vote) against the state’s interests in limiting the vote, for reasons such as fraud prevention, public confidence administrative convenience, policy choice, etc. (Leave aside how strong these reasons are for our purposes). We don’t usually talk about states, which don’t vote, as having voting rights.
So what’s up with this statement?
Maybe the governor’s press release writer got confused. More likely, this is a version of a state’s right’s argument, in which the state has the right to craft voting as it sees fit. Still, it is a strange phrase I haven’t seen used in this context before.