By: Emma Postel
On September 3, 2021, the North Carolina Court of Appeals stayed an order from the North Carolina state Superior Court, preventing 56,000 North Carolinians with felony conviction histories from registering to vote. This Court of Appeals order reinstates the voting restrictions established by law in 1973, preventing the affected North Carolinians still under state supervision from registering to vote, and as a result, prevents them from voting in the upcoming fall municipal elections.
The decision was “immediately appealed” by the plaintiffs, who maintained that the “exclusion of our neighbors’ voices is morally and constitutionally wrong.” On the other hand, the defendants in this case believe this reversal is good news, stating that the now overruled Superior Court order was a judicial overreach, essentially amounting to “judges…replac[ing] laws they don’t like with new ones.” North Carolina Republican State Senators further questioned the Superior Court’s discretion, suggesting “[i]f a judge prefers a different path to regaining those rights, then he or she should run for the General Assembly and propose that path.”
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