Open Letter to the North Carolina General Assembly

I ask that you, the elected officials trusted to represent us all, keep the faith of the voters in North Carolina and not try to add last-minute appointees to the State Supreme Court.

North Carolinians voted overwhelmingly to elect Mike Morgan to NC State Supreme Court. Now we are hearing again that the North Carolina General Assembly and Ex-Governor may deliberately undermine North Carolinians by adding two new Governor-appointed Judges to the State Supreme Court.

At its foundation, a government’s right to govern comes from the consent of the people. When a government looses the faith and trust of the governed, it creates unrest and instability.

In North Carolina, we have seen the legitimacy of the state government undermined by the NCGA’s efforts to make it more difficult to vote. McCrory then challenged lawful votes in counties all over the state, creating more unease and distrust.

I volunteered with Democracy NC during the election, and found out that many people who registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles have discovered that their voter registration was never added the voter rolls.   How will they trust the next government official they encounter?

If the NCGA passes court packing legislation during the upcoming special session to deal with Hurricane Matthew flood relief, they will be doing great harm to North Carolinians’ confidence in our government.

If we expect our citizens to obey the law, they must be able to believe that the justice system is fair. If the highest state court in North Carolina is a political tool, then how can people trust in the rule of law?

The faith of North Carolinians that the state government is honorable and just has already been shaken. If the NCGA and McCrory willfully spurn the determination of the people by changing the structure of the State Supreme court during a special session that should be focused on the needs of people still suffering the effects of Hurricane Mathew, it will do irreparable harm to our great state.

We North Carolinians disagree about many things – like basketball and barbecue (I think Eastern Style is best, personally) – but we all want our state to be steadfast, rather than to seem unscrupulous.

I love North Carolina – it is part of me. I was born here, grew up here, and am now raising my family here. I imagine I will die here, too (although I hope not too soon).  Growing up in North Carolina, I camped in our mountains, fished off our shores and learned in school that we had a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Our state government should NOT change the structure of the State Supreme court to defy the people.

A shorter version of this was published as a Letter to the Editor in The News & Observer on November 19, 2016.