North Carolina on August 15 asked the US Supreme Court to allow a state law requiring voters to show identification to remain in effect for the Nov. 8 US election despite an appeals court decision that the measure discriminates against minority voters.
Lawyers for Republican Governor Pat McCrory said the status quo should be maintained so close to the election, citing court precedent in their favor. The law, which also limited early voting, was enacted in 2013.
The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 29 that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters. The same court refused to put its decision on hold for the November election.
Critics say such laws, passed in Republican-governed states, make voting harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats. Backers say the laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud.
The state directed its request to Chief Justice John Roberts, who has responsibility for emergency requests arising from the federal appeals court that covers the state. The state is not seeking to restore all provisions of the law that were invalidated, meaning some provisions will not be in effect for the election whatever the high court does.