NAACP, environmental groups file additional lawsuits against proposed constitutional amendments

WTVD logo
Monday, August 6, 2018
Cooper plans to sue to keep 2 amendment questions off ballot
EMBED <>More Videos

Cooper plans to sue to keep 2 amendment questions off of the ballot.

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) -- The environmental group Clean Air Carolina, along with the state chapter of the NAACP, are adding to a flurry of legal challenges against proposed constitutional amendments scheduled to appear on the November ballot.

This latest lawsuit, filed on Monday against North Carolina's Republican leaders in the General Assembly, follows a similar suit filed by Governor Roy Cooper, a democrat.

"The supermajority's proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution represent one of the greatest threats to our state's democratic institutions since the Civil War," said NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.

Echoing the governor, the suit from Clean Air Carolina and the NAACP argues that two proposed amendments - on judicial vacancies and state boards and commissions - are unconstitutional because of what they claim is an attack on the Separation of Powers. The suit also charges that the very questions on the proposed amendments that will appear on the ballot are also unconstitutional because of what they call misleading language.

Unlike Cooper, however, the lawsuit targets two additional proposed amendments relating to income taxes and voter identifications.

"Misleading voters to seize power and deny access to the ballot through discriminatory photo voter ID is not only a dangerous threat to our state's future, it is also illegal. The U.S. Supreme Court limited the powers of this unconstitutional, gerrymandered legislature, and so the legislature must be stopped from carrying out this extraordinary attack. NC NAACP will not rest until we ensure that the voices of the people who have been directly affected by egregious discrimination by this NCGA are present in the courtrooms, in the streets, and at the ballot box."

In a release sent to ABC11, June Blotnick, Executive Director of Clean Air Carolina, asserted that the lawsuit comes at a "critical moment" for the state.

"If the legislature is successful in its power grab it will have dire consequences for citizens in the voting booth, for our communities and the air we breathe, and for our basic democratic institutions."