Loading...
I have been watching the commercials for the third district race and found it to be a down-to-the-wire-event. We have...

Voters must be vigilant against judicial tyranny

Ray Nothstine

Ray Nothstine

Loading…

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

If you were to poll North Carolinians on an open-ended question about what they think the biggest threat to liberty is in the state, there would certainly be lots of different and diverse answers.

You might even see responses like "climate change" and "Yankees moving here." Democrats might say "Republicans" and vice versa. However, a strong case can be made that judicial activism poses the greatest threat to liberty in North Carolina. Certainly, it's a top long term threat of the right to self-government.

Judicial activism made headlines once again in 2019 when a Wake County Superior Court Judge ruled unconstitutional two of the constitutional amendments that the state legislature and voters passed. In fact, the voter ID and the lower tax cap amendment were easily passed by North Carolinians at the ballot box in November, despite well organized and funded opposition.

"An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state's constitution," Judge G. Bryan Collins wrote in a ruling issued in February.

The gerrymandering reach is a ridiculous one, of course, giving judges the power to essentially nullify a law they disagree with politically. Judicial activism dilutes the will of the people, who are ultimately the guarantees of our liberty and freedom. It should be laughable that a Wake County Superior Court Judge can deem an entire state legislative body not valid while simultaneously sticking their middle finger out at the voters.

At the same time, I don't mean that we live in a land where the majority always rules or that judges don't have a strong role under our separation of powers system. In essence, as we saw with Judge Collins, the systemic threat is the left using the courts to enact what they can't enact through the legislative or voting process.

I believe that's why it's important to have at least a working definition of judicial activism. A good definition of judicial activism is definitely enacting a law or torpedoing the lawmaking by bypassing the legislative process. Furthermore, whether the judiciary acts on its own basis instead of through clear constitutional means when it comes to interpretation of the law.

Thomas Jefferson was one of the early opponents of judicial activism, saying: "The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please."

North Carolina is a state that is changing rapidly, in part because of urbanization and an influx of new residents. That is why it's essential that voters pay attention to the judges that are on the ballot in this state and they look for judges that will interpret and not make law.

Our laws and particularly our state constitution matter and they should be honored from the bench. Our U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina constitution are documents that limit the scope and reach of government, while judicial tyranny and oligarchies quickly and nefariously erode liberty.

Ray Nothstine is an editor at the conservative Civitas Institute in Raleigh.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

June 10, 2019

The New York Times 

“Because it’s there.” For those who grew up on George Mallory’s famous explanation for his yearning to scale Mount Everest, with all the romance, danger and spirit of exploration it implied, that viral photograph of an endless line of climbers in…

June 10, 2019

Although it may not appear so, the leaders of both major political parties in North Carolina favor lowering the tax burden of large businesses. Their real dispute is about the scope and magnitude of the tax relief.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has consistently opposed recent state budgets, crafted by…

john hood.jpg

June 10, 2019

We are just weeks away from the first of 20 Democratic debates scheduled this primary season. It gets underway over two nights in Miami on June 26 and 27, and never before has there been a debate this early in the election and potentially this important.

The reason there are so many candidates, 23…

eleanorclift.jpg.jpg

June 09, 2019

Gerrymandering has always been part of American politics. After all, the term was coined in 1812 after Massachusetts governor and Founding Father Elbridge Gerry endorsed a state senate district that resembled a salamander.

Until recently, federal courts have been highly reluctant to enter the…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

June 09, 2019

It is not unfair to point out that President Trump, on many important subjects, is just an ignoramus.

A vivid illustration of this unfortunate fact came this week in London, when it was revealed that Prince Charles, a knowledgeable environmentalist, had tried to educate the president on climate…

Eugene Robinson

June 09, 2019

"When you are told all your life you're dumb, unworthy, you start believing it. God changed that for me."

Jerry, from Youngstown, Tennessee, hesitated to be interviewed by Chris Arnade, because "I don't know my ABCs, so I can't really talk right." He told Arnade, the author of the new book…

kathrynlopez

June 09, 2019

Senate Republicans are pushing back on President Trump's plan to impose tariffs on Mexico. But if Mexican officials think these Republicans are going to save them from Trump's tariffs, it's time for them to think again.

So far, congressional Republicans have managed to remain bystanders in Trump's…

MarcThiessen

June 08, 2019

In 1940, some 3.6 million people lived in North Carolina, ranking the state 11th in the nation in population and first in the Southeast. Across the South as a whole, only Texas (6.4 million) was more populous.

If present trends continue, by 2040 North Carolina will have a population of about 12.7…

john hood.jpg

June 08, 2019

The Charlotte Observer

How much money is too much for a high school football coach? North Carolina’s second largest school district has provided something of an answer.

Last month, Vance High School coach Aaron Brand cashed in on a successful five-year run in Charlotte and accepted a coaching…

June 08, 2019

In 1788 the Hillsborough Convention convened to consider ratification of the U.S. Constitution and also to approve an “unalterable” seat of government. They did neither.

The Constitution, they determined, lacked assurances of personal rights the delegates deemed essential and, after…

Tom Campbell
231 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 24
        Next Page»   Last Page»