On the final day of the final special session of the 2016 North Carolina legislature, Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law making future Supreme Court elections partisan.
From here on out, candidates for Supreme Court will now have to run as Republicans, Democrats, or another party affiliation, as is the case with candidates for the Court of Appeals.
The Senate passed the bill Thursday afternoon, while the House passed it shortly before the Governor signed it into law on Friday.
For years, both Republicans and Democrats have made clear the Supreme Court candidates their party favors, but as expected, Democrats pretended this was some how a “coup” by Republicans to defraud North Carolinians.
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“I have heard folks on the other side of the aisle be coy about the motivation for being here,” said Rep. Chris Sgro (D-Guilford). “The intent is a partisan coup of the state of North Carolina to overturn the will of the people of this great state. None of us should stand for it.”
It’s rather hilarious that Sgro believes this move will somehow “overturn the will of the people,” considering the fact that the will of the voters was to give the Republicans super majorities in the House and Senate.
Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanley), however, was quick to point out the facts of the matter, as he held up copies of Democratic Party campaign materials, including handouts and websites, informing voters which judicial candidates were registered Democrats, and therefore, preferred by the state party.
“It’s not based on who’s the most qualified. It’s based on their political affiliation,” Burr said. “I think this is purely politics from the other side. They know that North Carolina voters tend to elect more conservative, more Republican judges. They trust them.
“By making it clear where [the candidates] stand, it is better for the voters to have all of that information.”
And Burr is absolutely correct in his assessment.
The argument can easily be made that the only reason Justice Bob Edmunds lost his seat to liberal Mike Morgan is because there was no affiliation associated with the candidates, and Democrats went out of their way to disparage and manipulate Edmunds beliefs and positions.
Morgan even gave his victory speech on election night at a party hosted by the Democrat party.
Now, such campaigns will be transparent, and the voters will actually be well informed of what it is these candidates actually believe.
Another issue lending credence to the Republicans argument for partisan elections was brought up during the debate on the House floor by Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham).
Jones noted that far less North Carolinians voted in the non-partisan Supreme Court race than did in the partisan Court of Appeals race.
“Is a person more or less partisan just because their party label is listed on the ballot,” Jones said. “Folks, we’re not kidding anybody.”
The bill signed into law by McCrory on Friday also creates an eight-member board consisting of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to replace the State Board of Elections and the Ethics Commission.
Had the legislature not made this change, incoming Governor Roy Cooper would have had the authority to appoint members of the State Board of Elections, which also would have given Democrats a 3-2 majority on the state board.
Overall, the special session was a devastating defeat for radical liberal activists.
But a rousing success for the people of North Carolina.