NC Voter ID and Income Tax Cap constitutional amendments voided
By Samira Schakirova Law Clerk at Bridgehouselaw LLP
The North Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NC NAACP) and Clean Air Carolina filed a lawsuit in Wake County against State House Speaker Tim Moore and State Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. The subject matter of the lawsuit was the approval of the voter ID and income tax cap constitutional amendments by the General Assembly.
The Voter ID Amendment was approved with about 55,5% of the votes. NC NAACP argued that the Voter ID requirement would place a burden on the right to vote on its members leading to practically depriving them of access to political participation. According to the US Department of State, only 42 % of Americans have a valid passport. Having a Voter ID requirement would impose costs and substantial and undue burdens on the right to vote, which would especially target African-Americans.
The Tax Cap Amendment which is set at 7% passed with about 57% of the votes. NC NAACP argued that the tax cap amendment would only act as a tax cut for the wealthy. The tax cap would result in a decreased revenue which would further lead to substantial spending cuts which in turn would decrease state expenses on public schools and low-income communities. This would disproportionately affect people of color.
North Carolina Judge G. Bryan Collins ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and held that the voter ID and income tax constitutional amendments were void because the General Assembly did not have the authority to vote on the constitutional amendments. Collin’s further held that the members of the General Assembly who voted for the amendments were elected under racially gerrymandered districts and did therefore not lawfully represent the people of North Carolina.
What impact this decision has, remains uncertain as the attorney representing the General Assembly announced that an appeal will be filed. North Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Clean Air Carolina
Post April 4, 2019.