On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court held in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP that state legislators are entitled to intervene in litigation challenging North Carolina's voter-ID law.
State Sen. Philip Berger and state Rep. Timothy Moore sought to intervene to defend the voter-ID law, which requires photo identification when voting in person. They argued North Carolina's governor and attorney general, both Democrats, were hostile to the voter ID law and wouldn't defend it with enough vigor.
The NAACP, the civil-rights organization that brought the challenge, opposed the intervention bid.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Illinois Law Dean and Professor Vikram Amar said aspects of the ruling are unique to North Carolina, limiting its impact on other states.
Federal appeals courts confronted with novel questions of state law typically ask state courts to weigh in. This process, known as certification of legal questions, is grounded in the idea that state courts should have the first say on these matters.
North Carolina is the only state that doesn't have a legal mechanism for this process, a quirk that played a role in the case ending up before the Supreme Court in the first place, Amar said.
"In some ways, this case is a one-off because the remedy of certification is unavailable," he said. "So, in that sense, it may not be that important to other states."
Read the full Wall Street Journal piece.