North Carolina NAACP
Contact, Tyler Swanson –Tyler.swanson@naacpnc.org,  336-317-3586
August 25th, 2016


The North Carolina NAACP Files Brief to the Supreme Court, Opposing North Carolina’s Application to Stay the Mandate of the 4th Circuit and Urging the Court to Uphold the Enjoined Provisions of HB 589

DURHAM –  The North Carolina NAACP filed a brief today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny North Carolina’s application to recall and stay the mandate entered by the 4th Circuit on July 29th, 2016. The Fourth Circuit enjoined five racially discriminatory provisions of HB 589, and effectively returned North Carolina to the status quo. The brief comes in response to an application filed by the State 10 days ago, asking the nation’s highest court to dramatically alter existing election procedures just before the November Presidential Elections. The NC NAACP State Conference, Attorneys Penda Hair and Irv Joyner, representing NC NAACP along with co-counsel Kirkland & Ellis, released the following statement:

“It would be a woeful miscarriage of justice to permit North Carolina’s discriminatory voting laws in 2016 by issuing the requested stay,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “North Carolina’s history of voting discrimination, the recent surge in African American voting power, the sweeping nature of HB 589’s discriminatory provisions, and the legislature’s decision to rush the bill through the legislative process show that race was a factor in the adoption of the law. Under the law, the State’s application to retain these discriminatory provisions should be denied—and, morally, to regain the trust and confidence of all voters in North Carolina – it must be denied.”

“The consequences of granting a stay would be severe,” said Penda Hair, attorney for the North Carolina NAACP. “Not only would it disrupt the status quo before an upcoming presidential election, it would permit the State to impose a discriminatory law that would irreversibly violate the fundamental rights of tens of thousands of North Carolinians.”
 “A stay at this point will confuse all voters and disenfranchise a significant proportion of them,” said Prof. Irv Joyner, NC NAACP’s Legal Redress Chair. “The Board of Elections at the state and county levels has put in place remedial procedures to enforce the Fourth Circuit’s decision.  Notices have gone out to voters that the former 17-day early voting period is restored, and you can register and vote at any early voting site during these days. The State conducted two-days of training for election administrators from every county, using training materials based on the 4th Circuit’s Order. A new voter guide based on the 4th Circuit’s decision, is online and is being prepared for distribution by mail. The state’s orderly implementation process should not be upended to reinstate a racially discriminatory law.”

“The stay requested by the State would disrupt the voting practices that have been put in place after the Fourth Circuit’s order and would reinstate discriminatory voting laws, which is repugnant to the guarantees of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act,” said Daniel Donovan, an attorney for Kirkland & Ellis LLP which also represented the NC NAACP. “The Fourth Circuit's ruling is proper and discriminatory laws such as HB 589 should have no place in our democracy.”