“Amicus Brief: NC General Assembly’s Attempt to Entrench One-Party Power is Unconstitutional Threat to Democratic Institutions”

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Today, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Democracy North Carolina filed an amicus brief with the North Carolina Supreme Court in Cooper v. Berger, in which the state’s newly-elected Governor, Roy Cooper, is challenging the General Assembly’s attempt to reorganize state and county election boards so that they will no longer be controlled by the Governor’s party, as they have been for more than a century. Among other things, the new law prevents replacement of the Republican-appointed Executive Director and provides that the election boards will be chaired by Republicans in every presidential and gubernatorial election year.

According to the brief, the General Assembly’s action is an attempt to entrench its majority party, the Republicans, in control over North Carolina’s electoral system regardless of their loss of voter support. This clashes with bedrock principles underlying the Constitutions of the United States and the State of North Carolina. Based on these principles, courts have interpreted the law to thwart political entrenchment in many circumstances involving the electoral and political processes. The North Carolina Supreme Court should do the same here.

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