Rules Chairmen Respond to Court Delay of Bipartisan Board

Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) and House Rules Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) issued a joint statement Friday responding to a three-judge panel’s decision to delay the creation of the bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement: 

“Regardless of the outcome, we are extremely disappointed by this panel’s attempt to legislate the policy outcome they wanted rather than decide the constitutional question before them. Based on their biased line of questioning, it is clear that these activist judges intend to ignore the law and issue an inaccurate and presumptuous order that effectively gives Roy Cooper the power to fire independent board members responsible for ethics oversight of his office. If they want to make laws, they should run for the legislature.”

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Background

Yesterday, a three-judge panel was tasked with debating the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4, which created a new bi-partisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement. Senate Bill 4 aims to ensure that partisan politics remain out of both the administration of elections along with enforcement of ethic complaints. 

Roy Cooper’s attorneys argued yesterday that – for the first time in the history of our state – the governor, any governor, should have the ability to remove individuals who may be investigating the executive branch for possible campaign finance or ethical violations. The three-judge panel did not question Gov. Cooper’s counsel about the merits of his lawsuit, deliberating instead over the policy implications of a state law rather than its constitutionality.

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