North Carolina's new voter ID requirements will be implemented during the 2020 presidential election.
A panel of three state judges dismissed much of a lawsuit alleging that black voters would face unconstitutional discrimination under the new rule, which requires voters to show photographic identification before entering the polls. A sliver of the lawsuit survives but the judges said the new requirement could be put into effect while the case proceeds.
The ruling is especially significant because winning North Carolina's 15 electoral votes will be critical to the electoral strategies of both President Trump and his Democratic challenger.
The requirement was approved by voters last fall. It was put on the ballot by the Republican legislature over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto.
"This is a huge win for the people of North Carolina who delivered a clear mandate last fall that they want common-sense protections against voter fraud," Senate GOP leader Phil Berger said after the judges' decision was announced Friday.
Voter ID laws have historically been used to disenfranchise black voters disproportionately, in part because many elderly African Americans in the South were not issued birth certificates. Three years ago a federal appeals court struck down an earlier photo ID law passed by the North Carolina Legislature as an unconstitutional targeting of "African-Americans with almost surgical precision."
The Republican authors of the new law say it is sufficiently different to survive such a voting rights challenge, in part because it allows for a wider array of IDs to be used at polling sites than before — including government worker identification cards — and provides a system for voters without a photo ID to explain why in writing and then cast a provisional ballot.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."