RALEIGH – Unfortunately, these days most of the back and forth between Republicans and Democrats occurs in court rooms instead of legislative chambers. Late Wednesday, attorneys for Republicans state legislative leaders filed an emergency motion with the Court of Appeals seeking to stay a ruling handed down by a lower court judge late last week that would require primaries to be held in the 2018 statewide judicial races.
Judge Virginia Eagles essentially ruled that the cancellation of district courts primaries made sense within the context of eliminating logistical conflicts between primaries and in-process judicial redistricting. At the same time though, she posited that statewide judicial races should go forward because they face no such conflict.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) are not arguing over the details, but the larger and more important question of the court’s authority to weigh in on such legislative acts.
“The Act is a constitutional exercise of the State’s broad power to regulate its elections,” attorneys for Berger and Moore wrote. “While the Democratic Party may disagree with the policy determination made by the State to eliminate primaries, they have no protected constitutional right to such a primary.”
This keeps happening over and over again. The courts, enabled by Democrats bringing lawsuits over everything and anything, are making a habit of overstepping their authority and denying the legislature their constitutionally mandated powers.
The only choice Republicans have is to keep appealing these frivolous lawsuits to higher courts in the hope that someone, anyone in black robe still reveres the constitution as the role requires.
The motion asked a panel of appeals court judges to stay Eagle’s decision, which, if granted, would effectively mean there would not be primaries in any judicial race in 2018.