The biggest threat to liberty in North Carolina today is a few activist judges that have been weaponized by the Democratic Party to advance a political agenda against the will of the voters.
As Democratic candidates and their failed tax-and-spend policies have been thwarted at the ballot box time and again, Democrats have increasingly called upon courts to legislate from the bench. There is no better example of this violation of the separation of powers than the decision handed down last month by Democratic Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins.
In response to a lawsuit challenging two constitutional amendments that North Carolina voters passed by wide margins last fall, Democratic Judge Collins ruled that the entire Republican state legislature was illegal. Under this absurd theory, every law passed by the General Assembly over several years could be called into question. Never before in U.S. history has one co-equal branch of government determined that another co-equal branch does not legally exist.
It’s just as outrageous that one person with a political axe to grind tossed out the votes of millions of people who voted to amend their constitution to require voter ID and to decrease the maximum income tax rate.
A judge is supposed to dispassionately interpret the law, not void the will of voters with his or her personal policy preferences.
Most disappointing of all, though, is that the head of the executive branch, Governor Roy Cooper, endorsed Judge Collins’ decision that the legislative branch doesn’t legally exist and that two million votes for voter ID don’t really count. Cooper said the decision “has a sound basis” in the law and that Collins’ opinion was “well-reasoned.”
Activist judges like Collins who are willing to put their personal partisan preferences above the rule of law have given Democrats the impetus to launch a nationwide campaign to “sue till blue.” If things don’t go their way, Democrats attempt to subvert the democratic process by using partisan judges to get favorable results.
In November, after once again failing to win a legislative majority, the Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in state court to overturn Republican-drawn legislative maps and require new districts that elect more Democrats. The lawsuit alleges the current maps violate the State Constitution, even though no court has ever interpreted the N.C. Constitution in this manner over the past 200 years.
Apparently, the old-fashioned way of winning elections – getting more votes than the other candidate – is too difficult for North Carolina’s Democrats. And to those who say it’s impossible to win under Republican-drawn maps, we won a supermajority under far more egregiously partisan Democrat-drawn maps just eight years ago.
While Democrats continue to push the false narrative that they just seek “fair maps,” this is nothing more than a power grab to convince the Democratic state courts to help Democrats take control of the General Assembly in 2020 so they can draw their own maps in 2021 and eliminate Republican Members of Congress like Mark Meadows.
If Democratic judges manipulate the State Constitution to expand their party’s power in the legislative branch, we’ll have a full-blown constitutional crisis.
In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln said, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” But as we see more and more activist decisions from liberal judges in North Carolina that overrule the will of the voters and usurp legislation, we move closer to a form of government where judges, not the people, wield the power.
Senator Hise is from Mitchell County and represents District 47 of the NC Senate and is Deputy President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate as well as Chairman of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee