RALEIGH – In recent years the judiciary, here in North Carolina and across the country, has exhibited far too much willingness to legislate from the bench. Judicial activism is a major problem, especially when one person can overturn policy preferences of an entire state. That’s what happened when a Wake County Superior Court judge voided two voter-approved Constitutional Amendments, arguing that the legislature itself was invalid due to gerrymandering.
It’s crazy, and the implication that the legislature of the last two years or so is illegitimate introduces an element of chaos that jurists should be mindful of.
Now worries, though, because Governor Roy Cooper thinks the ruling was made on a “sound basis” and gave the activist judge credit for a “well-reasoned opinion.”
Far be it from Cooper to recognize the myriad consequences of such blatant judicial overreach, in which single judges can overrule the people and their vote, and how Democrats should also be worried about such abuse. Such a risk is lost on Cooper and Democrats simply because these rulings benefit them politically. All else, to them, is inconsequential.
Alas, the judiciary in North Carolina has become increasingly dominated by Leftist judges. The state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are majority Democrat, and the former even has a bona fide social justice warrior on the bench. Cooper has even expressed confidence in the ‘Sue ’til Blue’ tactic precisely because he is believes Democrat judges will rule to the benefit of Democrats.
It’s very disappointing to see @NC_Governor defend this absurd ruling that invalidates the vote of millions of North Carolinians who supported #voterID. Our citizens deserve better – someone who will respect their wishes at the ballot box. #ncpol #ncga https://t.co/24zI9lJiQw
— Rep. John Bell (@JohnBellNC) March 6, 2019
While disappointing, it is hardly surprising considering Cooper’s track record. Still, Rep. Bell is right to point out that millions of voters’ choice on these issues stand to be invalidated because the much of the judiciary has lost sight of its constitutional role versus that of the people via elected representatives and direct referenda.
Judges are now drawing legislative maps, voiding popular votes on Constitutional Amendments, and coming to the aid of a Democratic governor each time the General Assembly flexes its (constitutional) muscle.
If Cooper and Democrats want to claim they are advocates of the people, they may want to rethink cheering a judiciary that increasingly issues diktats contrary to both the will of the people and the limits of judicial power – even when it stands to benefit them politically.