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North Carolina Vows to Appeal Voter ID Ruling -- Without AG Cooper

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 05, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

North Carolina is going to appeal the last week's predictable ruling that overturned the state's photo ID law, and it's going at it alone without its attorney general.

Yes, it's dissent within the ranks. North Carolina AG Roy Cooper has said that the state tried its hardest to defend the controversial photo ID law -- but it lost. Now his involvement in the suit has come to an end. Governor Pat McCrory almost immediately denounced Cooper (who will challenge him for his position in November) by painting the latter as a turncoat.

It's That Time of ... Election?

Nobody is daft enough to believe that the timing of any of these voter ID cases has nothing to do with the upcoming elections, an vacant seat in the Supreme Court, and the overall political rancor on Capitol Hill which has only gotten worse with time.

McCrory has vowed that the ruling will be appealed, but that the parties are trying to decide how best to proceed. Paper or plastic? En banc or SCOTUS cert. petition?

Benedict Cooper?

Seeing as Cooper is McCrory's opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial race, it makes sense that the sitting governor would want to paint the attorney general as something of a Benedict Arnold. In a news conference, McCrory used the ruling to stand on his soapbox and go Trump on Cooper. "We're very disappointed to hear that again his office is not willing to do his job. In fact, I question whether he should even accept a paycheck from the state of North Carolina anymore because he continues to not do his job, as his oath of office requires him to do."

Cooper: The Bottom Line

Cooper seems to have taken a more "let the crumbs fall where they may" sort of approach. "The bottom line is people will have more opportunities to register and vote," he said. In his view, the laws were designed to encourage people to vote anyway.

We can obviously see how taking his stance might benefit him in a few months.

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