The NAACP plans to file a second lawsuit after the state Supreme Court Wednesday rejected the NAACP and Governor Cooper’s efforts to remove the rewritten proposed constitutional amendments from the November ballot as part of lawsuits filed against the original amendments. Ballot printing is currently being delayed by the courts as several legal issues are vetted, including a recent judicial panel’s ruling that the Congressional maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
Cooper filed a new lawsuit Thursday challenging the rewrites. A hearing on that case is scheduled for tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., The News & Observer reports.
Two of the proposed amendments would shift the balance of power away from the governor’s office by giving the Republican-controlled legislature the ability to make judicial appointments and appoint an eight-person elections and ethics oversight board. Another amendment would require voters show ID at the polls, which N.C. NAACP president Rev. T. Anthony Spearman says “has been proven with surgical precision to suppress the votes of African Americans and minorities.”
The NAACP’s original lawsuit claimed the legislature does not have the authority to alter the state constitution, as the General Assembly was elected using unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps. The NAACP also called the proposed ballot language vague and misleading to voters.
Courts initially agreed with the NAACP, stating the amendments as originally written did not fully inform voters of the changes. However, the legislature passed rewrites of two of the amendments last week. The NAACP attempted to challenge the rewrites with its previous lawsuit, stating that the new language “
The courts, however, ruled the NAACP could not challenge the rewrites with its old lawsuit. So the NAACP is preparing a new one.
“Just because they come back in another way and repackage [the amendments] they previously were not able to do is just an overreach of a General Assembly that yet remains unconditionally constituted,” Spearman says. “We will continue to challenge as we are able.”