RALEIGH – The shuffle on the N.C. Supreme Court continues. When Gov. Roy Cooper made the identity politics move to elevate Justice Cherie Beasley to the Chief Justice position, it left her seat open for him to fill until the election. This week Cooper announced he was naming Court of Appeals Judge Mark Davis, another partisan Democrat, to the high court.
Cooper certainly seems to be squeezing as much political gain out of the judiciary appointments as he can. Davis used to be general counsel to former Gov. Beverly Perdue, until she appointed him to the Court of Appeals on her last day in office.
It is worth reiterating that the governor need not have sole influence over filling judicial vacancies, as one of the six Constitutional Amendment proposals on the 2018 ballot would have vested more authority in the General Assembly to screen and offer candidates for such vacancies. Ultimately the voters decided, with the help of a handful of former governors, that keeping that power in one man’s hands was okay.
We’re seeing now why Cooper having the power to fill these vacancies is problematic, not just for Republicans, but for anyone interested in the honest and proper interpretation of the constitution in the originalist sense. Each one of these appointments will enjoy an incumbent advantage when it comes time that they actually have to run for reelection, making Cooper’s vacancy appointment power a de facto power of full-term appointment.
With the elevation of Davis, the Supreme Court is now 6-1 Democrat. Among those Democrat Justices is an avowed Social Justice Warrior with more interest in enforcing the postmodern idea of ‘equity’ than the equal application of the law.
The significance of such a lopsided Supreme Court cannot be overstated. The high court is where all of big battles have, are, or will be landing – Voter ID, Redistricting, Balance of Powers, and on. Democrats have been actively employing the ‘Sue til Blue’ strategy with the confidence that these lawsuits are handled by Democrat judges, or majority Democrat judicial benches that will rule in their favor.
We’ve already seen the political activism come to pass by the Wake County Superior Court judge that ruled to void two Constitutional Amendments that were supported by the voters of the Old North State. We’ve seen it in the years long redistricting saga, in which courts have take it upon themselves to draw legislative maps that are more “fair” to Democrats.
We’ll continue to see the Left’s judicial activism at work if proper investments are not made in electing conservative, constitutional judges. It will put whole swaths of legislative agendas at risk, and effectively silence the voice of the voters of the state.
And Cooper is quickly trying to hammer the last nails in the coffin of Republican policy successes with his power to fill these judicial vacancies.