SCOTUS Helps Out Thom Tillis

Probably the best news for Thom Tillis’ Senate campaign in months was an unarticulated ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday that puts aside a Circuit Court decision preventing implementation of two provisions of North Carolina’s state-of-the-art voter suppression law. They were: a ban on same-day voter registration, and a flat prohibition on the counting of votes erroneously cast in the wrong precinct. (Other controversial provisions of the law, including a voter ID requirement and a reduction in early voting opportunities, were not put on hold by the Circuit Court).

While the majority did not explain its actions, a rueful dissent by Justice Ginsburg (joined by Justice Sotomayor) noted that the NC law would have almost surely been stopped had the Court not in the Shelby County v. Holder decision destroyed Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made Article 5 preclearance of state laws in the South feasible–and that NC moved post-haste to pass such a law the minute SCOTUS cleared the way.

So I suppose there’s a sort of symmetry in the SCOTUS majority blessing its indirect handiwork. Say “Thanks!” Thom Tillis.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.