With a current vacancy on the Supreme Court, the solons are basically divided in half on ideological grounds. So it was no surprise when they deadlocked yesterday, 4-4, when considering whether to overturn a Fourth Circuit decision that invalidated North Carolina’s recently passed voter identification act.
But to read the headlines, you would have thought the Court soundly rejected the very notion of making voters show a valid form of identification before exercising the franchise:
New York Times-17 hours agoWASHINGTON — A deadlocked Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to revive parts of a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal …Supreme Court won’t restore North Carolina voter ID law
USA TODAY-21 hours agoSupreme Court denies North Carolina appeal to enforce its voter ID …
In-Depth-Los Angeles Times-22 hours agoSupreme Court won’t let North Carolina use strict voting law
Highly Cited-Washington Post-19 hours agoSupreme Court Blocks North Carolina From Reinstating Its Racist …
Blog-Slate Magazine (blog)-21 hours agoUS Supreme Court refuses to reinstate voter ID law
In-Depth-Charlotte Observer-21 hours ago
An evenly divided court said Wednesday that it would not restore the law that a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit found unconstitutional. The court’s short order did not give the justices’ reasoning. It was not a ruling on the merits of the law but instead on an emergency stay request filed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to use the law this fall, as the state had in previous elections.
The court’s four conservatives — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — would have granted most of North Carolina’s request. But they were unable to find a necessary fifth vote from one of the court’s four liberals. It was the latest split decision for a court that has been without a ninth member since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the media manipulates your sense of the world. Since no liberal justice would ever consider switching sides on a major ideological issue — the way John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy routinely do in such matters as Obamacare and gay marriage — the Right has really suffered from Antonin Scalia’s death earlier this year. But considering the alternative — a sure fifth vote for every crazy Leftist idea that reaches the Court — it’s the best we can hope for until January.