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Black residents in North Carolina fear losing the ability to vote

Rosanell Eaton outsmarted literacy tests and defied cross-burnings to vote in the Jim Crow South. But she may have met her match in North Carolina's restrictiv
People wait in line to vote at the Board of Elections early voting site on October 18, 2012 in Wilson, North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
People wait in line to vote at the Board of Elections early voting site on October 18, 2012 in Wilson, North Carolina.

Related: Feds suing to protect minority voting rights in Texas

Barber, who has led the local ongoing "Moral Monday" protests, compared the philosophy behind the law to the extreme states-rights doctrine advanced by George Wallace and Strom Thurmond. “We will fight this race-based, immoral and regressive bill with everything we have and believe we will be victorious,” he added. In an op-ed piece published Monday in the Raleigh News and Observer, McCrory justified the law as necessary to combat voter fraud—despite an apparent acknowledgment that such fraud is all but non-existent. “Even if the instances of misidentified people casting votes are low, that shouldn’t prevent us from putting this non-burdensome safeguard in place,” McCrory wrote. According to the state’s own numbers, 316,000 North Carolinians—disproportionately blacks, Hispanics, and the poor—lack the I.D. required under the law. WATCH ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES ON NORTH CAROLINA'S VOTER ID LAW:

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The NAACP’s lawsuit argues that because it disproportionately affects racial minorities, the voting law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 2 bars racial discrimination in voting nationwide, and was left untouched by the Supreme Court’s ruling—though, as msnbc reported last month, there have been recent hints that it too could be a ripe target for conservative foes of voting protections. The suit also challenges the law under the 14th and 15thAmendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required most southern states, including much of North Carolina, to "pre-clear" any voting changes with the U.S. Justice Department, in order to ensure they don't have the effect of hurting minorities. North Carolina is the first state to enact a restrictive voting law since the court's ruling. But other states, including Texas, Mississippi, and Virginia, have pushed ahead with similar laws in response to the decision.

I'll be answering questions on voting rights, and North Carolina's shocking new law, Weds at 1pm. Tweet your questions to me with #msnbcchat — Zachary Roth (@zackroth) August 13, 2013