The editors of The Wall Street Journal are not impressed with the legal reasoning of the Democratic majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
An editorial headlined, “The Philosopher Kings of North Carolina,” blasts the NC Supreme Court decision, “that unlawful gerrymandering also could be a legal excuse to undo two constitutional provisions that the voters strongly approved.”
The question before the court was if the fact that the districts for the NC legislature were ruled to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered based on race invalidated the actions of the legislature.
The majority opinion in the case states, “It would be intolerable to hold that the people of North Carolina were left without any body capable of exercising legislative authority.”
But as the editorial notes, the opinion then carves out a special exception for constitutional amendments.
The editorial states, “To that end, the majority devises an astounding multifactor test, beginning with whether the lawmakers from gerrymandered districts were ‘sufficient in number to be decisive.’
“If yes, judges must then ask whether the proposed amendment will ‘immunize legislators from democratic accountability’ or ‘perpetuate the ongoing exclusion of a category of voters from the political process’ or ‘intentionally discriminate against a particular category of citizens who were also discriminated against in the political process leading to the legislators election.’ What fountainhead of legal invention did that spring from?”
The Wall Street Journal also states about additional reasoning from the court, “These are progressive political arguments from MSNBC, not legal judgments.”
The editorial also notes that Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr. in his dissent asks the question, “When does judicial activism undermine our republican form of government guaranteed in Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution such that the people are no longer the fountain of power?”
The editorial suggests that is a question the US Supreme Court might want to answer.