An Actual Overturning of Democracy

August 19, 2022

NC Supreme Court all but invalidated the vote of the people to amend their own Constitution

Our government rests on the notion that the people decide how to govern themselves. The foundation of that premise is called a constitution, a set of rules decided upon by the people that outlines how they will govern themselves.

When the people vote to amend their constitution, we should all take it pretty seriously. They’ve decided how to govern themselves.

And by a wide margin, they decided that the North Carolina Constitution will require people to present identification when voting, and that the state’s income tax shall never exceed 7%.

Today, four judges decided that the people’s decision to amend their constitution is invalid. They sent the case back to a lower court for a formal ruling, but the effect is all but certain. The court overturned millions of votes.

And they did so by inventing a standard that exists nowhere in law or the Constitution: When a court finds a legislature gerrymandered, that legislature is no longer permitted to put to the people a constitutional amendment to decide upon. Yet that legislature is somehow still permitted to pass other laws. It is illogical. It is extralegal. It is a brand new legal standard invented just today that nobody has ever voted on.

It simply doesn’t make sense that if the legislature’s vote to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot is not legitimate – then why is any vote they cast legitimate?

Their decision is an arbitrary ruling not based on any common sense understanding of our state Constitution.  And that is greatly troubling.

There’s a lot of talk these days about threats to democracy and about attempts to overturn our democratic system.

It seems to us that when a small tribunal instructs the people of a self-governing society that their decision to amend their governing document is no longer permissible, it’s among the gravest threats a democracy can ever face.