Judicial Watch: Battle Continues Over Election Laws
Meanwhile, another panel of judges has weighed in on whether the law stripping the governor’s office of control over state election boards will go into effect.
Governor Cooper won a major interim court victory in January when a panel of Superior Court judges, appointed by the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, granted the governor’s request to put that law on hold while waiting for the trial to determine that law’s constitutionality. That panel decided that Cooper’s challenge was likely to prevail on its merits and allowing the dissolution of the State Board of Elections in the meantime would cause irreparable disruption of the system.
However, a panel of state Appeals Court judges last week reversed that preliminary order, allowing the law to go into effect pending the trial. As of press time for CIB, we were waiting for the outcome of an emergency request from the governor’s office to the NC Supreme Court that the stay order be reinstated during the interim.
The outcome of this court dispute is also of major significance to environmental advocates like NCLCV. The law under challenge would give effective control of the state and county boards of election to the state legislative leadership, which supports major curtailments of voting rights. The long-term strategy of NCLCV and other environmental advocates depends on effectively encouraging more—not less—public participation in voting to hold legislators responsible for their environmental policies.