by Anna Manning
Dan Way reports for Carolina Journal that Democrat-turned-Republican Chris Anglin has won his fight to run on the GOP ticket for Supreme Court justice on November 6th.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Becky Holt issued her ruling Monday, Aug. 13, after a hearing on constitutional claims Anglin made in a lawsuit against Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, the N.C. Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, and Kim Strach, the board’s executive director.
Berger and Moore’s offices hinted at a possible appeal of the ruling.
“Their actions have shown exactly why I’m running,” Anglin said Monday after winning the case. “They want to make the judiciary an extension of the legislature.”
Anglin sued Aug. 6 to block Senate Bill 3. It became law Aug. 4 over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. It stripped his partisan affiliation from the ballot. Republicans said the new law was simply intended to make judicial races consistent with other electoral contests prohibiting candidates from switching parties within 90 days of the filing period.
Anglin claimed in his lawsuit the Republican-led General Assembly violated rights enshrined in a provision added to the state Constitution in 1776. He said the new law overturns a provision in the state Constitution’s “Declaration of Rights” protecting against encroachment by state officials and shifting political majorities. He said it was unfair for his opponents to be listed by party designation while denying him that opportunity.
Republicans believe that Anglin’s last minute voter registration switch is a plant by the Democratic Party to dilute the votes for Republican Party-endorsed incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson in her re-election fight against Democrat Anita Earls.
“Today’s misguided ruling protects Democrats’ deliberate effort to split the vote by confusing voters about a candidate’s true affiliation, despite the state legislature’s longstanding authority to set party label rules for candidates and efforts to conform judicial races with every other public office statewide,” said Moore spokesman Joseph Kyzer.
“Lawmakers are reviewing their legal options,” he said.
“Republican or Democrat, ‘candidates’ shouldn’t be able to switch parties at the last minute to split the vote,” Berger spokesman Bill D’Elia said in a written response to the decision.
“It’s a dirty trick that both sides of the aisle have rightfully condemned. We’re reviewing our legal options as we consider next steps,” D’Elia said.
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