Under the Dome

Pat McCrory strikes defiant tone against federal lawsuit, hires outside legal firm

UPDATED: Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday called the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against North Carolina’s voting law “overreach and without merit.”

“I firmly believe we’ve done the right thing. I believe this is good law. And I strongly disagree with the action that the attorney general has taken,” McCrory told reporters.

The governor, dressed more casually than normal after his visit to the N.C. Zoo earlier in the day, struck a defiant tone in his remarks. He cast the legal battle as a matter of state’s rights, saying he would “defend our right to have common sense laws right here in North Carolina.”

McCrory called the move political and fired back at President Barack Obama, citing a video — from a year ago — showing the president presenting an identification card to vote in Chicago. “I believe if showing a voter ID is good enough and fair enough for our own president in Illinois, it’s good enough for the people in North Carolina,” he said. “I think it is obviously influenced by national politics since the Justice Department ignores similar laws in other blue states.”

Illinois does not have a law requiring a photo identification at the polls on Election Day. But the state requires voters who vote early – as the president did in 2012 – to present a government-issued photo ID.

The governor said the state has hired an outside law firm to rebut the lawsuit in coordination with the state attorney general. The governor’s office could not immediately provide the firm’s name. Read more from McCrory here and more about the lawsuit here.

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