RALEIGH – Wake County Superior Court Wednesday is hearing suits filed by Gov. Roy Cooper, and Leftist interest groups challenging the inclusion of several constitutional amendment questions on the November ballot.
Hearing the case is a three-judge panel, and they have set a Friday deadline for filing orders.
Five former North Carolina governors united for a press conference earlier this week to oppose the same two amendments Cooper has sued over, one granting the legislative branch more authority over appointments to state board and commissions, and the other giving the legislative branch authority over filling judicial vacancies.
The governors complained that it was an erosion of the governor’s powers, claimed it was a threat to the people of North Carolina, and insinuating that allowing voters to decide whether or not to amend the constitution represented its “hijacking” by lawmakers.
The Cooper attorneys in today’s hearings so far have instead argued that the language is misleading, and therefore not eligible to be on the ballot. The former governors’ arguments were at least more honest.
The attorneys for the General Assembly leadership charged confidently out of the gate asserting that the constitution is as clear as a bell; the legislature has the sole authority to propose constitutional amendments.
The language in the question comes directly from the amendments, they continued, highlighting that the opposition really is a politically based one, not the semantics line they are using.
Cooper and Democrats (and former governors) may not like the amendments, but that’s for the voters to decide.
The other amendments being challenged by some special interest groups on the Left, such as the NAACP, are establishing a cap on state income tax rates, and requiring voter ID. It’s easy to see why the Left opposes these measures, as it will force more integrity at the voting booth and restrain future legislatures from their innate desire to tax us too much.
Think what you will of the amendments themselves – it comes down to a preference between legislative versus executive authority – but Cooper and his base of Lefties are arguing that you, as voters, shouldn’t even have the option of deciding the matter for yourselves.
That’s what the attorneys for Republican leadership are arguing for.
Opponents of the amendments have called it ‘power politics,’ but in the end it is the people that should have the power to determine just what the boundaries of government jurisdictions are, and asking them directly is the best way to do that.
We’ll bring you more as arguments over the amendments continue and work toward conclusion.