N.C. NAACP Blasts GOP for “threat” to High CourtBy Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Contributor / August 23, 2018
Calling it “wild west maneuvering,” the president of the N.C. NAACP blasted reports that the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party “…proposed the impeachment of N.C. Supreme Court justices, in the event they agree with some of our challenges…” to four of the Republican-led General Assembly’s “ill-advised” six constitutional amendments to be placed on ballots this November.
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the N.C. NAACP, said in a statement that the civil rights group is currently in litigation, having filed suit against the legislature, challenging four of the amendments, “…including a constitutional amendment to require photo voter ID, on grounds that they have been proposed by an unconstitutional legislature that came to power through one of the largest-scale illegal racially-gerrymanders in recent history, and that the amendments themselves are so misleading as to deny voters an opportunity to fairly vote on them.”
In an August 17, 2018 story published by The Raleigh News and Observer, N.C. Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse made his proposal during a Free Enterprise Foundation event.
Later that afternoon, Woodhouse issued a statement on Facebook saying in part, “Today I suggested that should the democrats on the N.C. Supreme Court block citizens from voting on constitutional amendments, a Constitutional crisis would be upon us. I believe there will be a very visceral reaction from voters and our activists to having their right to vote on amendments blocked. That reaction could be re-amending the Constitution, censure, adding positions to the court and/or impeachment. I did state this morning (a Constitutional fact). That it takes 61 in the house to impeach and 33 to remove in the Senate. Nobody wants that.”
Most political observers interpret Woodhouse’s remarks to be directed towards the High Court’s Democratic majority, which consists of two African Americans – Associate Justices Michael Morgan and Cheri Beasley.Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party, was at that same Free Enterprise Foundation event, and immediately took Woodhouse to task for his remarks, saying what he proposed was “offensive and wrong and improper.”
Rev. Spearman of the N.C. NAACP, agreed.
“This threat of punitive actions against the judiciary by the [executive director] of the North Carolina Republican Party is wild west maneuvering that demonstrates this party’s continued willingness to go to any lengths to consolidate and maintain political power in this state –without regard to the will of the people— and represents the erosion of fundamental principles of our democracy,” Rev. Spearman said in a terse statement. “To shoot from the hip with a blatant attempt to intimidate a panel of Supreme Court justices is a mockery of justice and overreach of political power.”
“The courts serve as an independent arbiter of justifiable legal concerns,” the N.C. NAACP president continued. “That judicial independence, for all people of good will, is morally and constitutionally sacrosanct. The people must not stand for these intimidation tactics.”
“The N.C. NAACP has stood with integrity for 109 years,” Spearman concluded. “Whatever the outcome, we will continue to use our well tested methods of litigation, legislation, direct action and political action to resist in power and succeed over adversity.”