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Federal Court Will Hear Expedited Appeal Of NC Voting Lawsuits

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A federal appeals court will give the North Carolina NAACP and other groups one last chance to argue that North Carolina's election overhaul should be put on hold this November. On Tuesday, the court granted an expedited appeal of a federal judge's decision that denied an injunction against some of the changes.

The U.S. Justice Department and others are suing North Carolina over voting changes that Republican lawmakers passed last year. The Justice Department argues those changes will deny or curtail African-Americans' right to vote.

The full trial isn't until next summer, so this summer, federal judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments over whether he should put some of the changes on hold. Those changes include cutting the early voting period by a week and eliminating same-day registration – things that African-Americans disproportionately rely on in North Carolina.

But Judge Schroeder ruled in early August that the Justice Department and others failed to show those changes would cause irreparable harm this November. The North Carolina NAACP and other groups appealed.

Now the federal appeals court that oversees the Carolinas, the Virginias and Maryland has agreed to hear the case. Although the Justice Department did not appeal, the court is inviting it to file a statement in the case.  

Usually that court hears arguments in Richmond, Virginia. But it'll hear this one in Charlotte on September 25. 

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