Once upon a time, there was a State Senator named Roy Cooper. He was the Democrat Majority Leader and a faithful yes man in Governor Hunt’s machine.
In 1998, voters chose a Republican Supreme Court and it was quite possible voters were going to send conservative judges to the Court of Appeals in November of 2000.
During the dog days of the 2000 summer, good old Coop voted to add three new judges on the Court of Appeals that wouldn’t be elected but instead would be appointed by Governor Hunt after the election and before a new Governor took office. (H1840, 2000)
Why expand the court and empower a lame duck Governor to appoint new judges? John Hood reminds us it was a partisan plan to cement Democratic control over the court no matter what the voters did.
After the election and days prior to leaving office, lame duck Governor Hunt appointed three new Democrat judges after the election, keeping the court’s Democrat majority. Where was the outraged Fourth Estate’s respect for the will of the people then?