The ruling means debates in the case will likely be scheduled in the Supreme Court early next year, with a ruling expected by June or July.
The dispute is one of many that have reached the High Court in recent years, where litigants have complained that state officials were not doing enough to defend a law or had essentially conceded that it was unconstitutional.
The legal issues the judges agreed to consider do not include the validity of the underlying voter identification law, passed by the North Carolina legislature in 2018 following a referendum in which voters amended the state constitution to require identification with the vote.
A three-judge panel from the 4th Circuit initially sided with the GOP legislative leaders, but the full panel of the federal appeals court agreed to reconsider the issue and ultimately voted, 9-6, to uphold the ruling. decision rejecting lawmakers’ request to intervene.
In a separate trial in September, a three-judge state trial court voted 2-1 to strike down the law, with the majority concluding that its passage was “racially motivated.”