#ncga: A special session for a REALLY dumb, under-handed reason

dollar2If I hadn’t heard about this from so many elected sources, I might have passed this off as pure nonsense.  But, hey.  A lot of nonsense goes down in Raleigh every day.

Apparently, the powers-that-be on Jones Street are plotting to call a special session before the end of the year.  One of the main agenda items?  Expand the membership of The Supreme Court so new members can be appointed. 

SERIOUSLY.  Apparently, some folks in high places on Jones Street have the idea of negating the Democrat takeover of the high court via the surprise victory of Mike Morgan.  If the election results hold in the governor’s race, this would have to be done before Pat McCrory leaves office.  He would be instrumental in enacting these changes.

dolmorePrior to the election, McCrory appeared on a Raleigh radio show and announced his plans to call a special session of the legislature before the end of the year.  

Of all the bad ideas I’ve ever heard, this ranks right down there with the worst.  Changing the rules because you don’t like how the election worked out is disgustingly authoritarian. THAT can cut both ways — against Dems and Republicans.  And the people lose either way.  

22 thoughts on “#ncga: A special session for a REALLY dumb, under-handed reason

    1. The Democrats actually did the very same thing in NC with the Court of Appeals, increasing the number of judges when the GOP got a majority so that a Democrat governor could appoint the new seats, and the Democrat legislator behind it was a certain State Senator named Roy Cooper.

      http://www.beaufortobserver.net/Articles-NEWS-and-COMMENTARY-c-2016-11-16-285073.112112-Maybe-the-GOP-Legislative-leaders-should-use-Roy-Cooper-blueprint-for-how-to-pack-a-court.html

      There is an old saying that ”turn about is fair play” and I would say that it applies here. I hope the GOP does back to the Democrats what they did to us on the Court of Appeals. Go for it!

  1. The liberal takeover of the NC Supreme Court is the biggest self-inflicted wound in the history of the NC Republican Party. I am not an attorney but most GOP lawyers and those familiar with the court system put the blame on Chief Justice Martin who handpicked a panel of judges which found the retention law unconstitutional. This doomed Bob Edmunds’s campaign for re-election. He never had a chance. Voters did not know whether Edmunds was a Republican or Democrat. Sadly, Mike Morgan also ran a very race-oriented campaign.

    1. So, a group of judges was supposed to be found to wave a magic wand and declare a stinking liberal California-inspired law from the idiot David Lewis that was clearly UnConstitutional in NC to instead be Constitutional? That is how Democrats do things. It is an affront to voters and an assault on their rights to give them a mere referendum in place of a real election.

      Conservative legislators like Mike Speciale, who commented on another thread, opposed this law then it was being passed. It is the idiot RINO’s in the GOP caucus that caused this disaster. If they had written the law, as they should have, to simply place the party affiliation of all candidates on the ballot, as applied to the other races, instead of trying their liberal Nancy Pelosi stunt of a retention referendum instead of an election, we would still have our GOP court majority.

      The stupid fools did not even comprehend that their retention referendum was UnConstitutional.

  2. As an activist volunteering to support candidates of choice; poll greeting for Bob Edmunds was brutal. For every sentence said to the Democrat voter to trigger their mind to vote for him, the opposition had a message sent to their eyes and ears. The worst was: “You will vote the Democrat Ballot in your hand, all of it!” (The famous yellow pre-marked ballot hand out they all intrusted in their hands – “I am a Democrat” don’t talk to me.” ) Voter Oppresion was alive and real!!!

    Eric’s comment hits the bullseye!

    1. The problem was the lack of party identification on the ballot and the candidate order, which was the reverse of the other judicial races. Many voters assumed incorrectly which was the Republican and which was the Democrat. In my county that is obvious in Edmunds significantly outperforming the identified Republicans in Democrat precincts and significantly underperforming the identified Republicans in GOP precincts. If he had been identified on the ballot as a Republican, Edmunds would have won. That is where the RINO leadership of the House led us down bigly with their stupid law!

      Voters had to guess which was a Republican, and many voters guessed wrong.

      There is always a certain element of voters especially among the minorities who will do as they are told by the Democrat operatives. That is nothing new.

      If the candidates had been identified by party on the ballot, the poll workers on both sides would not have effected the outcome. Edmunds would have won. That is the long and short of it, and who screwed that up were the RINO’s in the legislature.

  3. The blame on this goes to the Republican Party leadership, and who ever in the Legislature passed the bill not to call Edmonds political party. They spent too much effort on Burr and not enough on Edmonds.

    Looks to me like Chief Justice Martin has set himself up for a opponent in his next election.

    As for a special session, it is a really bad political strategy. Something the Democrats would do.

  4. Wow. Just because we “can” do it, doesn’t make it a good idea. Nor does it make it right.
    It’s almost as sad a sign of “sore loser syndrome” as the anti-Trump crowd blockading interstate traffic with burning tractor-trailer tires!

  5. If they are going to have a special session then why not use that session to restore the Lt. Gov. powers that the Dems stripped from Jim Gardner in the 80’s? That would make a lot more sense and be a lot more marketable to the voter than monkeying around with the Supreme Court.

  6. This situation reminds me of the strong measures that Thomas Jefferson took against the Big Government judges appointed by the Federalists.

    Should we allow a flawed election to give us judicial tyrants who will abuse power to legislate from the bench? While the method to stop that may be distasteful, it is better than allowing that judicial tyranny. I have talked to a number of GOP voters who thought they were voting for the Republican when they voted for the first name on the Supreme Court ballot, Mike Morgan. Voter confusion should not give the liberals such tyrannical power. We have already seen the massive political abuses of Obama appointed federal judges. We do not need our Supreme Court to fall into such clutches.

    Voters were tricked by the way this race appeared on the ballot. They would not have knowingly elected all the identified Republicans for Court of Appeals and then turned to a left wing Democrat for the Supreme Court. That is nonsensical.

    We may well need a Jeffersonian solution to this problem. However, one variation may be to provide for voter recall of appellate court judges. That might keep them in check.

    What was total political malpractice was putting this retention election bill up without containing a fallback provision if it was successfully challenged Constitutionally. That is something the legislators behind it will have to answer for. It would have been so simple to add a provision that if the retention election were overturned, the race would be run under the new provisions of the law that showed party affiliation on the ballot. Anyone competent should have comprehended the likelihood of a Constitutional challenge to such a lame brain bill. A retention election is not a whole lot different than the phony one-candidate Soviet elections. Our citizens do not need Soviet style elections for our Supreme Court.

  7. This debacle was not the fault of RINOs in the legislature, or any one so-called RINO. And the retention law itself was constitutional. In fact, when the Supreme Court heard the appeal from the Superior Court three-judge panel, GOP justices Martin, Jackson, and Newby all found the retention election law to be constitutional. The three Democrat justices on the Supreme Court voted to uphold the three-judge panel. Thus, since it was a 3-3 tie vote, the lower panel’s decision to scuttle the law was upheld. Frankly, Edmunds did not have to recuse himself and should not have, but that’s a decision he will have to live with. At that point, the Democrat Party sprung into action, recruited ultra-liberal Mike Morgan, and the rest is history. Here’s the point—If Chief Justice Mark Martin thinks the law is constitutional, then why did handpick a panel of judges to declare the law unconstitutional? This is what has GOP lawyers and legislators so steaming mad.

    1. I strongly suspect that all the justices on the Supreme Court voted on party lines on this issue. Any judge with integrity would recuse himself on an issue that impacts himself. Too many Democrat judges fail to do that. It is absurd for establishment GOP legislators to fault a Republican judge for having the integrity to recuse himself.

      It is appalling that anyone who calls himself a Republican would push this retention election crap which strips rights from the voters. If voters take out a judge, he is replaced by APPOINTMENT. Citizens need elected judges, not appointed judges to the greatest extent possible. With a Democrat governor, if voters take out a liberal judge in a retention election, he is just replaced by appointment with another liberal judge. But this is the very same little group in the legislature that gave us the ”affiliated committees”.

      This is mostly the fault of the legislature. They should have put party affiliation on the ballot as they did, and stopped there, but some advocates of top-down politics in the legislature decided to go crazy with this retention election business.

      One thing that I would like to see is to provide that on appellate court vacancies, they are filled by temporary appointments of a retired judge until the next election when the seat is filled by election by the voters with the temporary appointee ineligible to run. We have seen the horrors of appointed judges with the Obama judiciary.

      1. ” If voters take out a judge, he is replaced by APPOINTMENT”.

        Which is precisely why it violates Article IV, Section 16 of the North Carolina Constitution. It subverts the constitutional prerogative of the voters to choose their judges. Interesting document, the NC Constitution…..the House GOP caucus members should read it sometime.

  8. To GU Wonder—-What you may not know is that Bob Edmunds and the GOP Supreme Court Justices did not want R by their name. That’s why it’s not in the law. Perhaps it should have been, but they didn’t want it. The retention law was then designed to solve this problem. But the Chief Justice effectively deep-sixed the law by picking three judges who would rule it was unconstitutional. At that point, Bob Edmunds might as well have quit the race as it was all over but the shouting.

  9. Even if that is so, it does not excuse the political malpractice of failing to include language in the bill to cover the possibility of a successful challenge to the retention election. A fall back provision to elect the Supreme Court under the provisions governing the Court of Appeals races if the retention elections was struck down, by placing the party affiliation of candidates on the ballot would have been a poison pill that deterred Democrat challenges. The Democrats had removed the party labels because they knew that it helped Republicans win, and they would not want them back.

    The incompetence of the legislators behind this retention election business is mind boggling.

    So what if Supreme Court justices were not as politically smart as the Democrats on the helpfulness of party labels for GOP court candidates? The legislature should have done what was best for the party. One also has to consider where many if not all of the GOP Supreme Court members were getting their political advice. Most of them use Paul Shumaker as a consultant, so we have Shumaker’s inept political advice giving leftwing Democrats control of the Supreme Court because our legislative leadership would not overrule it for the good of the party.

  10. One other thing….according to the NC Constitution, the GA may indeed expand the Supreme Court membership but only by one more Justice since there are already seven justices which will likely result in a lot of 4-4 ties.

    Sec. 6. Supreme Court.
    (1) Membership. The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices, but the General Assembly may increase the number of Associate Justices to not more than eight. In the event the Chief Justice is unable, on account of absence or temporary incapacity, to perform any of the duties placed upon him, the senior Associate Justice available may discharge those duties.

    1. Whoops, I guess since we’re talking about Associate Justices only, that could be interpreted to allow the GA to create two new justices. My bad.

  11. With Paul Shumaker in the mix, you have to wonder whose side he is really on. He is not always loyal to Republican policies or leaders.

    Not long ago, Civitas caught Shumaker and Dee Stewart taking big money from some major far left national environmentalist ideologues to work for legislation they wanted that was contrary to the GOP platform and principles and in line with Obama policies. This shows they are nothing but political whores who will turn tricks for whoever pays them.

    Before that, Shumaker was heavily involved in negotiating Richard Morgan’s betrayal of the GOP House caucus to the Democrats.

    You never know whose side Shumaker is on because you never know for sure whose payroll he is on. It was madness for our GOP Supreme Court members to rely on him, and more madness for legislators to go along with it.

  12. We are all probably just wasting our time speculating over this. I doubt anything will happen. Unfortunately, the GOP and NC conservatives are simply going to have to live with this Mark Martin-Bob Edmunds debacle for the next eight years. Such a senseless tragedy. Ruins everything we have worked so hard to accomplish.

    1. I would call it a Paul Shumaker – David Lewis debacle. Not putting the party labels on the ballot was political malpractice at best, treachery at worst. Recall elections are something for California liberals, not North Carolina.

      1. Sorry, this last post should have said ”retention elections” not ”recall elections”. Recall elections are fine and establishing them for appellate courts might be one solution to this mess.

        Retention ”elections” are liberal California bullcrap.

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