December 19, 2016

Governor McCrory is calling the legislature back for one more session before the year –and his term – ends, to hit reset on House Bill 2.

Which means reformers on Jones Street have one more shot to add two justices to the state Supreme Court and protect the reforms that have made North Carolina the fastest-growing economy in the nation.

Incoming justice Mike Morgan rode millions of dollars worth of race-baiting ads and an Obama endorsement to his new seat on the bench. We know Obama’s judges tend to rule on ideology instead of the law, and Morgan seems to be no exception. He brings conflicts and ideological purity to a court that should be tough, fair and impartial. Does anyone think Morgan won’t look out for the special interests that bought his seat?

The legislature has the authority to add two McCrory-appointed justices now. And there’s precedent for acting before a new governor and legislature take the reigns of state government.

The Democrats protected their court majority when they expanded the Court of Appeals, letting Jim Hunt appoint three new judges days before he left. The courts ruled that perfectly legal. Roy Cooper voted for it, and defended the move in court. Then they took partisan labels away because conservative judges kept winning elections.

This legislature has one more shot. It should take it. For reform’s sake.