Déjà Vu: Plaintiffs Ask Supreme Court to Sidestep Court of Appeals
Use of bypass petitions shatters judicial norms in order to achieve partisan outcomes
Plaintiffs are forum shopping to try to beat the buzzer as judicial elections loom
Sen. Daniel: “It’s a shame that the Democratic-majority Supreme Court seems intent on playing this game”
In another attempt to circumvent the North Carolina Court of Appeals, plaintiffs in the felon voting case filed a bypass petition with the state Supreme Court this week. If granted, the case — CSI v. Moore — would become the latest in a string of highly political cases where the Democratic-majority Supreme Court has sidestepped the standard judicial process.
This is also the second time in a matter of months that plaintiffs have asked the Supreme Court to step in after receiving favorable rulings from the trial court.
This is a transparent attempt to forum shop to speed up the judicial process. With an election looming that could impact the political makeup of the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs are trying to have their cases heard before the election.
This isn’t the first time plaintiffs in highly political cases have abused bypass petitions to skirt judicial norms.
Since December 2021, the Supreme Court has granted an unusual number of bypass petitions. Over the past five years, only a few bypass petitions have been granted a year.
Yet, in a four-month time span, the Supreme Court has fast-tracked three cases — Harper v. Hall, Holmes v. Moore, and Leandro. Previous bypass petitions in Holmes v. Moore and the Leandro case have been denied.
In Holmes v. Moore, the voter ID case, the plaintiffs submitted the second bypass petition even though they also won at the trial level. Even though there is no urgency to the case for the plaintiffs, the Supreme Court granted the petition.
“It’s clear as day that the plaintiffs are forum shopping in an attempt to bypass the Court of Appeals and circumvent the standard judicial process,” Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke) said. “It’s a shame that the Democratic-majority Supreme Court seems intent on playing this game and rushing to settle political scores before the clock runs out on them in November. The Supreme Court is fast becoming the most political body in the state, and that should concern every citizen of this state.”
Instead of being impartial arbiters, the Democratic-majority Supreme Court is hand-delivering partisan wins for the plaintiffs. The message the Court is sending is crystal clear: If you can’t pass your preferred policy through the General Assembly, the Supreme Court can do it for you.