NC voter ID trial delayed as US Supreme Court examines case

National News

A federal trial set for January on litigation challenging North Carolina’s voter photo identification law has been delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether legislative leaders should be permitted to help defend the law in court.

The Supreme Court said last month it would consider the request of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to formally step in to the case and defend the 2018 law along with state government attorneys.

The lawsuit was previously scheduled to go to trial in Winston-Salem on Jan. 24. In an order issued Thursday, presiding U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs said it makes sense to delay the start to avoid further confusion over voter ID. Otherwise, a Supreme Court ruling favoring GOP legislators could require a repeal trial.

“While the court is mindful that parties have been preparing for trial, there is no reason that such preparation must go to waste,” Biggs wrote. No new starting date was set.

Berger and Moore have argued that state attorneys led by Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, have not adequately represented the state to defend the law. Biggs and the full U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected the GOP leaders’ requests.

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