North Carolina's constitutional circus

After watching an unending string of their unconstitutional laws be obliterated by the courts, Tillisberger passed a law (itself unconstitutional) requiring lawsuits against their unconstitutional laws to be heard by a three-judge panel. They figured that this might, through some (ahem) "judicious" judge shopping, allow their unconstitutional laws to remain in force.

They never expected that Deputy Assistant Governor Pat McCrory would get off his leash just long enough to file suit against one of their unconstitutional laws, and they surely didn't expect he'd win.

But the legislature-imposed three-judge panel did indeed rule against the Jones Street House of Pain.

The General Assembly overstepped its authority when it created independent commissions to oversee a trio of environmental issues, a three judge panel ruled Monday in a suit brought by Gov. Pat McCrory.

The next act in this circus will be the appeal by Bergermoore.

In a joint statement, Senate Presidnet [sic] Pro Temp Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said they were "disappointed" and will appeal the decision.

This entire morass, of course, is a result of the NC GOP's attempt to insulate itself from the impact of its own policies by creating (ahem) "independent" commissions such as the Coal Ash Commission that serve to remove accountability for poor decisions, bad policy and sleazy politics.

This circus surely is amusing. It would be more entertaining if it weren't one of the things that's destroying our state.

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He said, she said

"This historic and unanimous ruling respects and restores the separation of powers," McCrory said in a statement.

"The trial court's new interpretation of the constitution represents a dramatic shift in the historical constitutional balance between the three branches of government, with implications reaching far beyond the three independent boards named in the lawsuit," read a joint statement by [Bergermoore]

Surprised that Phil forgot to throw in his classic line about how a "rogue activist judge overturned the will of the people". Oh, right, he insisted that only a three-judge panel can hear these cases, and that kinda ruins the statement. "Three rogue activist judges chosen by the NC Supreme Court, which is in my pocket, overturned the will of the people" just doesn't have the same ring.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

And now they've pulled an Apodaca

To punish Pat for winning the lawsuit, the NCGA has decided that it will put all of the governor's nominations on hold, as a way to get revenge.

Of course the lawsuit has nothing to do with these appointments, but that's how Apodaca and the sociopaths roll.

The three-judge panel rules only on a trio of boards and did not strike at other boards and commissions that lawmakers appoint. So while lawmakers may have real concerns, their move Monday night has a somewhat punitive air about it as well.

And you can bet that Apodaca and Bergermoore are just getting started with their revenge. There's plenty more they can do to remind Pat that his "victory" is hollow.

For the governor, that could mean trouble on more than just appointments. McCrory just rolled out his budget plan and has been flogging a legislative agenda that depends on cooperation from the legislature. For example, he has been on the stump around the state to lobby for the reinstatement of a tax credit used to revive historic mill and warehouse buildings.

Pass the popcorn.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014