By Steve Woodward
Moore County citizens, and North Carolinians across the state, should by now be acutely aware of the havoc that can be wrought by activist judges. Exhibit A is the state’s congressional map, redrawn as recently as 2016 when a court ruled the 2011 map unconstitutional as a result of so-called racial gerrymandering, and challenged again this year by a three-judge panel, skewing Democrat, only months ahead of pending 2018 mid-term elections. Fortunately for voters of all parties, an effort to re-draw close to an election was quelled.
Until the recent hard-left turn by the Democrat Party, the phrase “activist judge” rarely was mentioned. But the party gradually has become intoxicated by the practice of overturning the will of voters in courts.
This is relevant in these early days of November 2018 because there are six contested judicial races on the Moore County ballot. Despite their best efforts, Republican judicial candidates, most of whom are incumbents, will go into Election Day this Nov. 6 (Tuesday) likely wondering if their campaign appearances and yard signs will lift them to victory.
Democrats have the same fears, undoubtedly. There are multiple variables in play. Foremost among them is that voters, even some engaged voters, pay little or no attention to judicial candidates. Secondly, judges are not in campaign mode as often as state and federal congressional officeholders. They are less known, less visible, and not always natural campaigners.
A prime example is North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson (left), who is running for re-election after an eight-year term. Prior to that, Jackson was six years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals as an associate judge. Despite her experience and reputation as a justice of utmost integrity, with a record to prove it, Jackson is in an uphill battle. In addition to being targeted by Democrat groups outside of the state (one run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder), which are funding her opponent Anita Earls, Jackson has a second opponent in Chris Anglin.
Anglin appears after Jackson and before Earls on the ballot as a Republican because he simply switched his longstanding Democrat affiliation before filing. That such a loophole exists is a story for after Election Day.
“He is seven years out of law school,” Jackson said during an October appearance before the Moore County Republican Men’s Club. “I posit that he is in here as a spoiler (to confuse voters and take votes away from Jackson).”
We know RESOLVE readers are up to speed and fully aware of Anglin’s dishonesty. Now it’s up to all engaged Republicans to inform friends and neighbors why a vote for Justice Jackson is vital, especially given the defeat of GOP state Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds in 2016.
Also worth noting when you are imploring fellow citizens to vote on Tuesday is that there are two other judicial races pitting Republicans against one another. To be sure your friends vote for the endorsed candidates in these races (Jefferson Griffin for NC Court of Appeals, Seat 2, and Steve Bibey for NC District 19D Court Judge), ask them to carefully review the Moore GOP’s gold sample ballot before heading to the polls.
Finally, in addition to sample ballot “homework”, it’s suggested every Republican planning to vote on Election Day spend time over the weekend visiting the web sites of our judicial candidates.
Here they are:
Justice Barbara Jackson; Andrew Heath for NC Court of Appeals; Jefferson Griffin; Chuck Kitchen for NC Court of Appeals; Michael Stone for NC Superior Court; Warren McSweeney for NC District Court (unopposed); and Steve Bibey.
Historically, a “blue moon” election is a ho-hum affair marked by low voter turn out. But early voting data indicates Republicans outvoted Democrats handily and in atypically high mid-term numbers. The key on the way to Tuesday’s finish line is to fend off complacency when voting for Republican judges down the ballot.
“The game plan (among Democrats) is to start using state constitutions,” Justice Jackson said, “as a means toward political ends.”