Fighting for rights restoration: CSI v. Moore

In November 2019, Protect Democracy, Forward Justice, and Arnold & Porter initiated a lawsuit on behalf of six individuals and several nonprofit organizations to restore voting rights for those with prior felony convictions. These organizations — Community Success Initiative, Justice Served NC, Inc., the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, and Wash Away Unemployment — work to re-enfranchise citizens denied the right to vote under North Carolina’s felony disenfranchisement law.

On March 28, 2022, a three-judge panel ruled in our favor, unlocking the right to vote for over 55,000 North Carolinians who are on probation, parole, and post-release supervision. The panel majority held that the State’s felony disenfranchisement law violates the state Constitution’s Equal Protection and Free Elections Clauses. The three-judge panel’s ruling, which is currently operative, is on appeal before the North Carolina Supreme Court. Oral argument is scheduled for Thursday, February 2, 2023.

The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, but for too long people with prior felony convictions had been denied that right. Before this ruling, North Carolinians who had been convicted of a felony lost their right to vote not only during any period of incarceration, but also throughout the duration of their probation and post-release supervision periods — stripping away their right to fully participate in our democracy, including their ability to have a voice in policy decisions that affect their daily lives.

For more information, visit Fighting for Rights Restoration.

Case documents

Featured Press

Thousands of felons in North Carolina can now register and vote

CBS News, July 27, 2022
Tens of thousands of people serving punishments for felony convictions in North Carolina but who aren’t behind bars can now register to vote and cast ballots following an appeals court ruling.

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