Late last week, the state Supreme Court rejected a deceptive legal attack on environmental protection funding.
A fund created in 2000 as a result of an agreement between the state Attorney General and Smithfield Foods will continue to provide about $50 million a year to environmental protection efforts, as a result of the court’s decision. The court rejected arguments from a now former staff member of the right-wing propaganda group Civitas Institute who filed suit against then-Attorney General Roy Cooper, as part of Civitas’ efforts to cut off state financial support for environmental protection.
The lawsuit was filed by Francis DeLuca in October 2016, more than 15 years after the agreement was reached. We are presumably expected to believe the suit was a long-belated effort to enforce the alleged letter of North Carolina law, instead of a transparent attempt to throw shade at a disfavored candidate for governor in a critical election taking place less than 30 days later.
Citizen environmental advocacy groups Sound Rivers and North Carolina Coastal Federation also intervened on behalf of the Attorney General’s office, in support of the 2000 agreement.