A federal appeals court on Friday struck down North Carolina's requirement that voters show identification before casting ballots, deciding that the law was enacted "with discriminatory intent" and must be blocked.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is considered a victory for civil rights groups, The Washington Post reports.
Critics called North Carolina's HB 589, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in 2013, a "monster bill" because it includes voter ID, restrictions on early voting days, and elimination of same-day registration, CNN reported. Challengers, including the Department of Justice, the NAACP and the League of Women Voters say that the restrictions would have an outsized impact on the state's African American population who are more likely to vote during early vote and use same day registration.
The law was originally upheld by a district court judge and North Carolina argued in court papers that the plaintiffs failed to prove the law was an "unconstitutional burden on any voters, much less African American Voters."
Attorneys for the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of law countered that the law was enacted "under highly rushed and sharply polarized circumstances, after the 2012 election "where early voting and same day registration were used heavily by African-American voters."