WILMINGTON, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina governor Pat McCrory says he will ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the voter ID law Wednesday.
McCrory made the announcement during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Wilmington Tuesday afternoon.
The request comes after an appeals court decided it won't delay enforcement of its ruling striking down the state's photo identification requirement and other election restrictions, including reducing early in-person voting by seven days.
Last week, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the stay after state leaders' attorneys requested that the ruling be set aside as they ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.
"Changing our state's election laws close to the upcoming election, including common sense voter ID, will create confusion for voters and poll workers," Governor Pat McCrory said in a statement last week. "The court should have stayed their ruling, which is legally flawed, factually wrong, and disparaging to our state. Therefore, by early next week, we will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the ruling of the Court of Appeals."
A 4th Circuit panel had determined a 2013 law Republicans approved amounted to intentional discrimination of black voters.
Last week's order says the harm to disenfranchised voters outweighs granting a delay. Last week's injunction means no voter ID mandate and 17 days of early voting with same-day registration.
After McCrory's announcement Tuesday afternoon, his campaign spokesman, Ricky Diaz, responded to a WBTV tweet saying the governor was going to the Supreme Court because "Roy Cooper refuses to. He's costed taxpayers $9M for all the lawyers we've had to hire to do his job."
Attorney General Roy Cooper told reporters last week that he expected the voter ID decision to stand and said he thought the boards of election across the state would have time to adjust to the ruling.
"I think this is what we are going to have," he said. "It was a pointed ruling and the board of elections needs to get to work."
"Attorneys with our office put forward their best arguments but the court found that the law was intentional discrimination and we will not appeal," Noelle Talley, Public Information Officer for the N.C. Department of Justice said Tuesday. "Other parties are adequately represented if they choose to appeal further, although additional appeals would only incur more expense and foster uncertainty with the approaching election and early voting."
McCrory told reporters last week "we will continue to appeal this," saying attorneys are figuring out a way forward. He called the 4th Circuit opinion "very political" referencing that the panel of judges was made up from two President Obama appointees and one appointed by President Clinton.
"It is amazing that the Attorney General will not fulfill the duty of his oath of office to defend our laws of North Carolina," said Governor Pat McCrory. "In fact, I question if he should even accept a pay check anymore from the state of North Carolina."
"The 4th Circuit has unanimously said that the governor and legislature have engaged in intentional discrimination to make it harder to register and vote, and two other Circuits have struck down similar laws. The governor is wasting taxpayer money in trying to defend the indefensible," Ford Porter, communications director for Cooper for North Carolina said last week.