FILE - North Carolina Supreme Court

The North Carolina Supreme Court chamber in the Supreme Court building in Raleigh, N.C.

(The Center Square) — The North Carolina Supreme Court this week dismissed a petition from the state NAACP to compel the Court of Appeals to speed up proceedings in a case challenging two voter-approved constitutional amendments.

Republican Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr. issued an order on Thursday that "dismissed as moot" a request by the NAACP for a "writ of mandamus" in the case NC NAACP v. Moore.

The rare writ of mandamus would have forced the state Court of Appeals to return the case to a Wake County trial judge who previously ruled in the NAACP's favor. The case involves two constitutional amendments approved by voters in 2018: One requiring photo identification for voters that was approved by 55%, and another to lower the cap on income tax rates from 10% to 7%, which was approved by 57%, according to The Carolina Journal.

The Supreme Court, currently with a 4-3 Democrat majority, ordered the appeals court to remand the case to district court in a party-line August ruling that found amendments proposed by a racially gerrymandered Legislature must be vacated under certain circumstances.

"To determine whether those circumstances required the invalidation of the 2018 photo voter-ID and tax-cap amendments, this Court ordered the Court of Appeals to remand to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing," Kimberly Hunter, attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center representing the NAACP wrote in her request to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. "For reasons unknown, the Court of Appeals has failed to comply with this mandatory, ministerial duty — despite having ample opportunity to do so."

"The Court of Appeals' failure to follow standard judicial procedure leaves this case — and by extension, two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution — in legal limbo," Hunter wrote. "That is an untenable situation. The Constitution is 'the framework for [our] democracy.' What is and is not contained in that framework is a matter of the utmost importance that must be adjudicated with due speed."

An Appeals Court panel including judges Donna Stroud, Jeff Carpenter, and Chris Dillon "convened several weeks ago but has not issued the mandate to the trial court," according to Hunter.

"This Court should compel the Court of Appeals to comply with this Court's instruction to remand this matter to the trial court," Hunter argued. The NAACP ultimately wants the courts to override the will of voters to trash both amendments.

The order Thursday dismissing Hunter's request did not include reasoning behind the decision. It comes a little over a week after voters elected two new Republican Supreme Court justices, which will shift the court to a 5-2 Republican majority in January.

Democrats on the high court considered the possibility of blocking their Republican colleagues from participating in the case, but later opted against it.