Her complete obeisance to Republicans in the General Assembly is distressing:
The General Assembly can waive its common law rights in addition to its statutory rights, and whether it chooses to do so is not within the purview of this Court. Nevertheless, we will not lightly assume such a waiver by a coordinate branch of government. Therefore, without a clear and unambiguous statement by the General Assembly that it intends to waive its attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine, we are compelled to exercise judicial restraint and defer to the General Assembly‟s judgment regarding the scope of its legislative confidentiality.
In a nutshell, Justice Jackson blocked the plaintiff's discovery of e-mails associated with the GOP's gerrymandering plot after they took over the General Assembly in 2011. And she did this because she knew that during the back-and-forth between lawmakers and mapmakers and consultants, the true nature of their racial gerrymandering would be revealed. It was not about "complying" with the VRA, it was about abusing those Federal guidelines in order to pack African Americans into districts and greatly reduce the value and impact of their votes. In the absence of such damning proof, Republicans were free to keep their little charade afloat. Read the whole decision and you will see Jackson dug up the worst collection of Precedent I've seen in a while to back up her argument. Irrelevant and inappropriate don't even cover it. But at least read Robin Hudson's dissent, because it demonstrates why the GOP worked so hard to steal her seat:
Defendants seek to protect much of their legislative redistricting work from public scrutiny under the cloak of attorney-client privilege; however, the relevant statutory language could not be clearer in indicating that the privilege is inapplicable here, making waiver irrelevant. The pertinent language of the statute reads: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all drafting and information requests to legislative employees and documents prepared by legislative employees for legislators concerning redistricting are no longer confidential and become public records upon the act establishing the relevant district plan becoming law.” N.C.G.S. § 120-133 (2011) (emphasis added).
There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about the statutory phrase “are no longer confidential.” This Court has long held that “when the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, there is no room for judicial construction, and the courts must give it its plain and definite meaning. "Lanvale Props., LLC v. Cnty. of Cabarrus, ___ N.C. ___, ___, 731 S.E.2d 800, 809-10 (2012)(citations and quotation marks omitted). The unequivocal statutory language here can be summed up quite simply: as of 7 November 2011, the dates that this redistricting plan finally became law, all prior “drafting and information requests” and “documents” concerning redistricting ceased to be confidential. Therefore, these requests and documents cannot be covered by the attorney-client privilege, which applies only to confidential communications.
This case does not concern a broad waiver of various privileges—the nonconfidential communications in question are simply beyond the protection of the attorney-client privilege, even if they once were protected.