Court considers voiding N. Carolina constitutional changes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court is considering whether to void changes to the state constitution that voters approved last year because they were placed on the ballot by lawmakers elected from racially gerrymandered districts.

What the state Court of Appeals heard Thursday will help it decide whether the Republican-controlled legislature lacked authority to put those constitutional amendments before voters.

A lawyer for GOP legislative leaders said that if the state NAACP’s lawsuit succeeds, any law passed by the General Assembly for years could be challenged.

A lawyer for the civil rights organization said GOP legislators knew their design of legislative districts cheated black voters and would be overturned, so they pushed changes to the state constitution making virtually permanent limits on income tax rates and requirements to show identification when voting.

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