"A lawsuit alleging that North Dakota's voter identification laws are intentionally discriminatory against Native Americans will go forward after a U.S. District Court judge denied the state's motion to dismiss the case.
Judge Daniel Hovland, of Bismarck, ruled Monday, Feb. 10, that the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and six enrolled tribal members have the legal standing to sue Secretary of State Al Jaeger over the laws, which require voters to present a form of identification that lists a valid residential address.
The tribes argue the laws, which were passed by the Republican-led Legislature in 2013 and amended two years later, put an undue burden on Native Americans living on reservations. Residential addresses often do not exist on the state's five reservations, and the plaintiffs argue many of those who do have addresses don't know them or have trouble finding them out.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration from the court that the laws violate their constitutional rights and an injunction that would remove the street address requirement. The tribes welcomed Monday's news that the case will not be dismissed.
The suit was originally filed a week before the Nov. 6, 2018 election. Hovland ruled then that an injunction could not be issued so close to an election."