Wednesday’s last minute decision by the US Supreme Court to accept a lower court decision extending the deadline for acceptance by the State Board of Elections (SBE) should worry North Carolina voters. It is proof of how the courts are being used to promote legislative purposes contrary to their constitutional mandate to adjudicate the law versus making the law.

With only one week remaining in the election cycle, the Supreme Court chose not to interfere with a questionable judicial decision requiring the state to accept a 9-day window to receive mail-in ballots after the election rather than the current 3-day window as has been the practice for many elections and constitutionally established by the legislature. The Court applied the “Purcell Principal” resulting from the 2006 Supreme Court case of Purcell vs Gonzalez which concludes that courts should not change election laws at the last minute for fear of confusing voters.

The court’s decision is understandable but also disturbing. Not only does it enhance doubt about the election process resulting from these last minute legal disputes, it confuses the issue of state sovereignty when it comes to state constitutional actions. The result will embolden political organizations such as Democracy Docket, a political action group, to challenge both the election results and the sovereignty of states to conduct elections in any state where the election outcome is not acceptable to their party.

This effort began with a collusive settlement between SBE Director Karen Brinson Bell, assisted by questionable legal representation by N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, and Marc Alliance of Democracy Docket who represented the N.C. Alliance of Retired Americans. Elias sued the SBE on behalf of the alliance, claiming that the current law providing a 3-day window past election day for accepting mail-in ballots was a form of voter suppression despite the fact that this schedule has been applied for all elections for more than 20 years.

The SBE director, a Democrat, willingly accepted a settlement proposal with Elias’ group, extending the window for nine days contrary to state law. Since both parties in the lawsuit wanted a judicial decision that would suit their joint agenda to circumvent the legislative decision on absentee ballot rules, they sought approval from N.C. District Judge Brian Collins. Judge Collins accepted the settlement between the two parties, totally ignoring the fact that the defendants in the case, the legislative leadership, were not informed about the proceedings.

The state’s legislative leadership, Sen. Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore, sued to overturn the settlement in federal appeals court which eventually ended up before the Supreme Court Wednesday.

This long, circuitous and tortuous journey for a simple election procedure shows how the courts have become an extension of the Democrat Party’s strategy to bypass the will of the voters and constitutional authority. These judicial decisions, according to Jon Guze of the John Locke Foundation, makes the courts, particularly state supreme courts, “super legislatures.”

In theory the court system is designed to adjudicate the law as established by the legal authorities such as the N.C. Legislature and to assure that the laws meet the guidelines established under the state as provided by the U.S. Constitution. But the recent decision by Judge Collins as accepted by the Supreme Court shows that the courts can be used to actually create policies and by default make law. This is not the job of the courts.

The political parties and their operatives, in this case Democrats, have figured out the means to create laws that will go unchallenged simply by co-opting the judiciary to do the work that is legally the purview of the legislative branch. It is important to note that the ultimate judge for these cases is the state Supreme Court, but if that is the originator of the legislation then by default there is no other place to take the case other than the federal court system.

All of these actions are costly in both time, money and public trust.

North Carolina voters can begin reversing the growing corruption of the state’s court system by electing Republicans Paul Newby, Phil Burger and Tamara Barringer to the state’s highest court. Otherwise the Democrat agenda for the state will become the law and the only recourse for voters will be costly federal lawsuits.

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(17) comments

David Collins

It appears that the only fair elections are when the democrats win . Been pretty obvious for a while now . Was going to say only three days left to see how this all shakes out but now it is 3+9=12 days . That is indeed a pitiful state we are in and indicative of what will come if things stay the same .

pops

The idea of knowing the election's outcome on or near election day is a false idea, born of the technological advances of the late 20th century. For most of the history of our country, outcome of national elections was unknown for quite some time. In the beginning, election results traveled by horseback, to consolidate at the state level. The electors then rode east. Certainly not a same day proposition. The constitutionally mandated separation between election and inauguration days reflected the time needed to count ballots and transmit that information to Washington. Immediate results were quite simply impossible.

The introduction of railroads and telegraph eventually began to speed the process. But still nowhere near immediate results. The advent of radio and television gave rise to the prediction of outcomes. Bush v. Gore gave us the first instance of constitutional violation on a national level - stopping the ballot count for artificially construed reasons and establishing a precedent of winning by judiciary fiat.

mpjeep

Pops, waiting for long periods of time to find out election results is our past, but maybe not our future. But, even if we received results sooner, they will probably always end up in court as you suggest.

Our voting system is badly out of date. Obama said “we need to fix that”, referring to the long lines and problems with voting in many states.

What if, instead of expecting people to go to a polling location, we took the ballot box to them, through their smartphones, tablets and laptops? The technology exists today, but not our laws.

Multifactor identification will eventually, and in some cases already has, become an industry standard for banks and financial institutions. When users login they must have three things: a password, a smart card or token and fingerprint or iris scans.

In tandem with a password and single-use token used for online voting, a home IP address or home phone number could authenticate registered voters.

Encryption, which can be used to tackle a few challenges, of which, the main challenges of an online voting system is protecting voters’ personal information The fact that the FBI needed to rely on an outside vendor to break the encryption on the Apple iPhone shows just how strong mobile encryption is on even the most popular consumer devices.

Hospital systems, electrical grids and some cities are being automated based on data algorithms and analytics.

If the Federal Election Commission and Congress would take a serious look at modernizing our voting procedures, we might actually get into the 21st century. A good step would be to begin federally funded trials in upcoming local elections. You could even run parallel systems, in smaller towns, to prove accuracy and participation.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

This use of case law to decide issues before the court illustrates the folly of case law application. Use of past cases to decide other cases enables the present court to abdicate its responsibility and let a previous court decide a present issue. This is also assuming, and that is a big assumption, that the previous court made the RIGHT decision. All cases should be decided on the merits of the present case alone; not some other remote case. There is statutory law, and then there is case law. The latter is dangerous at least. More to the point, this legislation from the bench violates separation of powers; as it is NOT the scope of the court to set public law or policy. That is the legislatures responsibility alone. The court job is to interpret the law as written, with the Constitutional restrictions always in mind. Shame on the court for finding otherwise.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

POPs; I suppose you oppose the electoral college as well. You do understand the negatives of using the popular vote alone, or do you not?

pops

I suspect the electoral college owed mostly to the logistic difficulties mentioned earlier. Did the founders distrust a largely uneducated populace? Were they already planning to subvert the process? I don't remember enough American history to say. At the time, they probably compromised on the most workable solution - much as our legislative branches once did. At this point the electoral college serves no purpose, relative to the concept of one person, one vote. However, make your case. I shall consider it.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

The electoral college insures all states have a say in the election, otherwise, the highly populated states alone would determine the elections. The other states would only be "flyover territories". The libs are all about (the image of" every vote counting; to that end, the electoral college is a necessity. IT has nothing to do with education of the population.

Sleepwalker

Pops...do you by any chance remember what a republic is?

The electoral college is to keep the highest population areas (CA FLA. TEX NY ETC) from deciding a president for the whole country. The “needs/wants” of those in CALI are different from ours in NC (as a whole). It’s a representative type system. This discussion/history lesson could go on for weeks.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

It is quite amusing, and even sad, we hear the word "Democracy" used as it is, to describe our nation. We are not a democracy, as that is equal to mob rule. We are a representative republic, one where individual rights are the cornerstone of liberty. Let me repeat for those not paying attention: Democracy is MOB rule. The many can vote away the rights of the minority. This is a concept you would think the liberals would oppose, but they don't. Except in the area of gays, guns and religion (what an unlikely group so close together). The liberals have no problem with the masses taking the rights of the fewer, as long as it is in line with their agenda (the liberals). This is established fact by observation over time.

David Collins

Did anyone happen to notice the polls on display last night during the results posting . The number of Americans wishing for more government control of their lives was depressingly high and only eclipsed by their distain of Congress. If in fact true our future does not look particularly bright .

mpjeep

Yea, I noticed that David. Lots of 20 - 30 year olds and BLMs who have never worked a day in their lives. Only good thing for me and you is that we may not live that long.[smile]

pops

The primary balancing mechanism lies in the construction of a bi-cameral legislature, half population based and half an equally allotted representation. The electoral college is directly population weighted. Bigger states DO have a bigger say. The only counterbalancing effect lies in the opportunity for a small margin to have outsized influence. If the performance of electors was constitutionally mandated as winner-take-all, it would support your arguments. But we have winner-take-all AND apportioned varieties of elector commitment. Apparently, in the name of state sovereignty. What remains at the national level is weak argument for constitutional intent. (My perspective, 250 years down the road.) My reading assignment appears to be writings of the founders. We can revisit the topic next election, giving me a little research time.

mpjeep

Remember that feeling you had on 9/11 when that second plane hit the Twin Towers?  I have that feeling now, watching the election returns.

dc

Doesn't matter what the system is if it's a crooked system. Know what you're saying mpj & there's no doubt plenty more with the same feeling. The feeling will become more intense within those who believe in fair play. This was easily foretold & it's not going away until resolved by honest brokers. Hopefully mistakes made similar to 9/11 & its aftermath & still with us in so many ways won't be repeated but history does repeat itself over & over. The Chinese Communist Party & other enemies foreign & domestic are salivating. Freedom loving people outside the drug infested & anti-American cesspools of many colors & descriptions have tough days, weeks, months & years ahead.

mpjeep

Election Day is over and I was impressed with the turnout of local voters. It’s safe to say that Carteret County citizens did their civic duty.

I’m glad it’s over for many reasons, especially since annoying text/call messages will slow down on my cell phone. Text/call messages kept coming to vote for this person or that person. Telemarketers, ugh! What happened to the “do not call” registry? Mostly unwanted political calls, even though I have registered with the national do not call service.

There was almost complete agreement in the House and Senate that it is annoying to have someone bugging you on the phone when you don’t want to be bothered. But, they excluded themselves in the law they passed in 2003, so they can annoy us all they want.

That isn’t the only time Congress has kept itself out of laws it made.

A president serving four terms? This would never do, so Congress had to act. Term limit laws were passed, but only applied to the president, not Senators and Representatives, who could stay forever.

And how in the world is it okay for Congress to vote on budgets that serve them? And Senators get to vote for pay increases for themselves. Wouldn’t you like the same option?

The majority of Americans think that career politicians are a bad idea. So, on the next ballot, let’s add this question: Do you support service limits for Congress of no more than eight years? If 60% of the voting public says yes, then the law passes whether Congress likes it or not.

President Lincoln said we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Somewhere along the line, politicians have forgotten to “let the people be heard”.

Yes, I’m tired of marketing texts/calls and I’m tired of washing my hands.

David Collins

I have been getting robocalls that claim to be from The USA . I have started answering them with my best Hispanic Accent claiming not to speak a de English . They have been diminishing . Actually kind of fun at times for they really do not know what to say next .

mpjeep

Good idea, David. I'll try it.

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