Lawsuits where abound in Raleigh yesterday in response to The General Assembly’s overrides of two vetos from Governor Cooper last week. First up we have the NAACP and Clean Air Carolina suing over 4 of the 6 constitutional amendments…http://bit.ly/2vKpib9
The four proposed constitutional changes the organizations are targeting would require voters to present photo ID, cap the state income tax rate at 7 percent, change the way judicial vacancies are filled to limit the governor’s role, and take away the governor’s power to appoint members to boards and commissions and give that power to the legislature.
The lawsuit maintains that since some legislators were elected from districts that a federal court found were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, a “usurper legislature” does not have the power to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Constitutional amendments need approval from three-fifths of the members of both the House and Senate to make it to the ballot. The NAACP and Clean Air Carolina say in their lawsuit that the amendments they are opposing passed by just one or two votes. The suit also argues that voters will be presented with “vague, incomplete, and misleading” ballot language.
They were not alone, Chris Anglin a
Democrat Republican running for the Supreme Court has also filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these changes…
Anglin’s lawsuit makes a number of requests. It asks that parts of a bill targeting his campaign, which was passed into law on Saturday by the General Assembly, be struck down as unconstitutional. It asks that the state not print any ballots until a judge orders what the ballots should look like. It also asks that Anglin be given more time to withdraw from the race in the future if he decides to, and it asks for the state to pay his attorney’s fees.
Anglin is joining up with Rebecca Anderson (who is running for Judge in Wake County) are arguing that retroactively applying a law to an ongoing election process is a violation of their due process rights. I think Anglin and Anderson has a strong argument and this is probably the most likely to succeed of the three lawsuits. Speaking of number three, Governor Roy Cooper has also filed a lawsuit against the legislation passed this weekend…http://bit.ly/2OOKeGJ
Gov. Roy Cooper has filed a court challenge to two constitutional amendments because they “would take a wrecking ball to the separation of powers” by rewriting bedrock constitutional provisions — including the Separation of Powers Clause itself.
In the suit, filed in Wake County Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 6, Cooper also claims the amendments would “confer exclusive authority on the General Assembly to choose those whom the Governor can consider to fill judicial vacancies. And they ultimately threaten to consolidate control over all three branches of government in the General Assembly.”
As if the plethora of lawsuits wasn’t head spinning enough the State eBoard of Elections has a deadline of Wednesday, August 8th to decide what is going to be on the ballot. I think the challenge from the NAACP is ridiculous. No judge is going to rule that the General Assembly is unconstitutional. That would negate every single thing they have done since redistricting. Just imagine the headaches that would cause. Cooper’s lawsuit is not as insane as the NACCP’s but it is not far behind. It will undoubtedly get kicked. However, I think Anglin and Anderson have an argument. Changing the rules in the middle of the game was not a smart decision. Whether or not the court acts quickly and correctly is another story. I could easily see the court halting almost all of the changes and waiting until the next election to put them on the ballot.