On March 15, 2023, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments in a case concerning a 2018 law requiring a photo ID to vote.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed the lawsuit on behalf of six state residents against the North Carolina Board of Elections, Speaker of the House Timothy K. Moore (R), Senate President Phil Berger (R), state Sen. Ralph Hise (R), and former state Rep. David Lewis, Sr. (R). In December 2022, the court, which had a 4-3 Democratic majority, upheld a lower court’s determination that the law was unconstitutional. After Republicans won both of the state’s supreme court seats up for election in 2022, gaining a 5-2 majority on the court, the justices agreed to re-hear the case.
In the most recent hearing, Attorney Paul Brachman said, “This law does bear more heavily on African American voters because they’re more likely to lack a qualifying ID, more likely to face difficulties acquiring an ID.” The defendants’ attorney Pete Patterson said, “The law does not bespeak discriminatory intent, racially discriminatory intent, to enact a voter ID law that allows everyone to vote.”