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The Latest: NAACP: Voting decision 'unimaginably important'

The Latest: NAACP: Voting decision 'unimaginably important' Photo: AP.

May 15, 2017 05:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court rejecting an appeal to reinstate North Carolina's voter identification law (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

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The head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP says it's time for state legislators to stop trying to prevent African-Americans from voting now that the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on a voter identification bill.

On Monday, the court high court left in place a lower court decision that struck down a 2013 state law that mandated photo identification to vote in person and scaled back early voting.

The Rev. William Barber says in a news release that the victory is "unimaginably important for African-Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians and the nation."

Barber is the outgoing president of the state chapter of the NAACP, which sued over the law.

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11:45 a.m.

Democrats are praising the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing to hear an appeal aimed at reinstating North Carolina's voter identification law, which opponents have said targeted African-Americans.

The high court left in place a lower court decision that struck down a 2013 state law that mandated photo identification to vote in person and scaled back early voting.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called Monday's order a "huge victory for voters and a massive blow for Republicans" that he says are trying to restrict ballot access nationwide.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has opposed the law and didn't want the justices to hear the case. He says elected officials should be making it easier to vote, not harder.

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9:35 a.m.

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to reinstate North Carolina's voter identification law that a lower court said targeted African Americans "with almost surgical precision."

The justices on Monday left in place the lower court ruling striking down the law's photo ID requirement and reduction in early voting.

The situation was complicated when Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein tried to withdraw the appeal, which was first filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the political situation created uncertainty over who is authorized to seek review of the lower court ruling.

The dispute is similar to the court fight over Texas' voter ID law, also struck down as racially discriminatory.

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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