As a part of this campaign, we provide legal representation to the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP (NC NAACP) in their lawsuits against North Carolina state officials, challenging unconstitutional methods of voter suppression and disenfranchisement.
This includes state and federal court challenges to strict photo voter ID laws, as well as a state court challenge to North Carolina’s felony disenfranchisement law.
Unlock Our Vote (felony disenfranchisement)
Community Success Initiative v. Moore, No. 19-cvs-15941, Wake County Superior Court
In November 2019, Forward Justice filed suit on behalf of four organizational plaintiffs and six individual plaintiffs in Wake County Superior Court, seeking to re-enfranchise tens of thousands of North Carolinians previously convicted of felonies who have had their right to vote taken away under an unconstitutional felony disenfranchisement law (N.C.G.S. 13-1). Plaintiffs allege that N.C.G.S. 13-1 violates several provisions of the North Carolina Constitution: the free elections clause, the equal protection clause, freedom of speech and assembly, and the ban on property qualifications.
Photo Voter ID
NAACP v. Cooper, No. 1:18-cv-01034, Middle District of North Carolina
In December 2018, Forward Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiffs NC NAACP, challenging the validity of North Carolina’s photo voter ID law (S.B. 824). Plaintiffs allege that S.B. 824 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, because the passage of this law was motivated by discriminatory intent as part of an effort to dilute the voting strength of the African American and Latinx populations.
On Dec. 31, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a 60-page opinion, granting Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction and blocking North Carolina’s photo voter ID law. The Court found that the passage of this law was likely motivated by racially discriminatory intent in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.
NC NAACP v. Moore, No. 18-cvs-9806, Wake County Superior Court
In August 2018, Forward Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiffs NC NAACP and Clean Air Carolina, arguing that the North Carolina General Assembly had been tainted by an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, and therefore lacked the authority to amend the North Carolina State Constitution in 2018. The lawsuit challenges several constitutional amendments that were placed on the ballot in 2018, including the photo voter ID amendment.
In February 2019, the NC NAACP won a motion for partial summary judgment in this case when the Wake County Superior Court ruled that the photo voter ID constitutional amendment had been placed on the ballot by an unconstitutionally-constituted General Assembly. The Court held that the General Assembly came to power by way of an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, and lacked the authority to amend our Constitution. The case is currently on appeal and we are prepared to fight to preserve our victory.