Republicans Make Surprising Strides in NC Judicial Races | Beaufort County Now | Election season this year has been like no other. | john locke foundation, republicans, surprising strides, NC judicial races, december 4, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Republicans Make Surprising Strides in NC Judicial Races

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brenee Goforth.

    Election season this year has been like no other. Americans are still raising questions about the presidential race, and control of the US Senate hangs in the balance of one state, Georgia, as it goes into a runoff this year. North Carolinians are facing an additional election anomaly in the form of a judicial recount for chief justice of the state supreme court. This week, the John Locke Foundation's Director of Legal Studies, Jon Guze, shares his analysis. Guze writes:

  • While the final outcome of the race for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court isn't official yet, it appears that the Republican candidates won all three open seats on the Supreme Court and all five open seats on the Court of Appeals as well. Even in a year in which Republicans did unexpectedly well statewide, that is a stunning result.

    Guze breaks down why judicial makeups are important:

  • [T]hanks to the progressive "living document" judicial doctrine adopted in the second half of the 20th century, our Supreme Court now has the power to uphold facially unconstitutional laws if a majority of the justices approve of them on policy grounds, to strike down facially constitutional laws if a majority of the justices disapprove of them on policy grounds, and to change the meaning of laws — and of the state Constitution — in order to advance the majority's policy preferences.
  • As a result, a four-member majority of NC Supreme Court justices can wield more power over the law in North Carolina than the General Assembly and Governor combined.

    A more closely matched court could mean more careful consideration from the bench. Guze writes:

  • [W]hat had been a 6 to 1 Democratic majority on the Supreme Court will now be a much more balanced 4 to 3.
  • The fact that the court will be more evenly balanced in terms of party affiliation, ideological commitments, and judicial philosophy will make it much harder for any of its members to impose their policy preferences from the bench.

    Guze hypothesizes that this could impact future elections:

  • The fact that Republicans swept all the Court of Appeals races and are on the brink of sweeping all the Supreme Court races won't be lost on the Democratic judges and justices who weren't up for reelection this year. They will realize not only that North Carolina's voters are paying more attention to judicial races than they used to do, but also that those voters don't like what they've seen from Democratic judges and justices in recent years. Even if they are tempted to do so, therefore, that realization will make them think twice before putting policy preferences or party loyalty before of the letter of the law.

    Read the full piece HERE. Read more coverage of the 2020 election in Carolina Journal HERE.


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Protecting the Club is more important than standing on principle
It’s so easy to let jealousy trump good sense. I think that’s what a ‘wealth tax’ is all about.
In this installment, we will discuss the "controversial" Gospel of Judas and how it can be used to decipher cryptic messages made by actors portraying the role of "Judas" in the current political arena..
The North Carolina Council on Health Care Coverage held its last meeting today to finalize principles to help guide Governor Roy Cooper and legislative leaders as they consider options to increase affordable and comprehensive health coverage for North Carolinians.
At the Request of President Biden, Acting Secretary of Education Will Extend Pause on Federal Student Loan Payments
She's impressive and hopefully isn't finished in public service.


Chicago prosecutors say 36-year-old Aditya Singh lived in the city’s O’Hare International Airport for three months to avoid flying home to Los Angeles, California, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Are you spending your precious time wisely, or are you a pawn, an infinitesimal cog, in someone else's Global Plan?
As of Jan. 18, North Carolina had received about a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Come with us on Part II of Wolfman and The Guardians' journey through the streets of our nation's capitol. These stories are only available exclusively here at BCN!
Joy Pullmann of the Federalist explains how right-of-center partisans can respond well to a Biden presidency.
Joe Biden, a man with the mental acuity and awareness of an oyster is now in the White House, where he will be taken by the hand, guided into a closet and handed some coloring books to keep him busy while Kamala Harris runs the government
Kevin Daley of the Washington Free Beacon highlights one of the consequences of this month’s Capitol riots.


Back to Top