State Begins Its Defense of NC Voting Law As Second Week of Testimony Wraps Up
The North Carolina Voting Rights trial wrapped up its second week Friday. Critics of the law argue it’s racially discriminatory and disenfranchises voters. They ended their argument today with a little bit of history.
The plaintiffs, including the North Carolina NAACP, the League of Women Voters and the U.S. Justice Department want to get rid of restrictive voting provisions. They also want a a legal order requiring the state to get federal approval for any election changes.
Their final witness was historian James Leloudis, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill. He chronicled the ups and downs of black voting strength and said that every time blacks had a rise in power, there was a backlash. He says the 2013 voting rights law fits that pattern.
The state began their case this afternoon. Their first witness was Janet Thornton, an economist and statistician. She presented evidence that voting increased among blacks and young people in 2014, after some parts of the law were already in place.
The defendants say the law doesn’t create any barriers to voting. They argue it applies equally to everybody and there was no intent to disenfranchise any group.
The end of the trial may not mean the issues are resolved, however. Many observers here believe that regardless of the outcome the case will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
*Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.