The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is marking its third win in the last few years on protecting the right to inspect state voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting.
The Fourth Circuit federal appeals court on Monday ruled in favor of PILF in its lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, vacating a lower court’s decision blocking the inspection of the state’s voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting.
“North Carolina had tried to prevent the public from inspecting records related to noncitizens registering and voting in our elections,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement.
“Federal law presumes that election records are public,” Adams said. “The Fourth Circuit vacated the lower court’s dismissal of the case. This is an important win because it means that the public’s right to know about election vulnerabilities has been vindicated.”
The Richmond-based appeals court concluded “that the Board’s efforts in the present case to identify non-citizen registrants qualify as a ‘program’ or ‘activity’ to ensure an accurate list of eligible voters.”
In June 2019, PILF filed the lawsuit against North Carolina election officials after they failed to disclose voter roll records showing non-citizen registrations and voting. A lower court, though, dismissed PILF’s lawsuit claiming such records could not be disclosed to the public.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, though, ruled in favor of PILF having a right to inspect North Carolina’s voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting, remanding the dismissal by the lower court.
“Because discovery was not conducted, we cannot discern on this record whether [PILF] may be entitled to disclosure of some of the documents requested,” the opinion stated.
“The record here shows that, at a minimum, the Board has disclosed to the United States Attorney documents involved in grand jury investigations of 789 individuals statewide,” the opinion continued.
While PILF will now go back to court to negotiate over the records, this is the third win for PILF on protecting the right to inspect state voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting since 2019.
In March 2019, a Texas court ruled that PILF could move forward with seeking non-citizen voting records in Harris County, Texas. Then, in December 2019, a federal court similarly ruled that PILF could continue seeking non-citizen voting records in Pennsylvania.
North Carolina has a history of concealing non-citizen voting. In November 2019, for instance, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed legislation that would have purged self-admitted non-citizen voters from the state’s voter rolls ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The case is Public Interest Legal Foundation v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, 19-2265 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.