Lawless Judge Bryan Collins Refusing to Let Legislature Appeal His Rewrite of State Election Laws

Legislature can’t appeal until Collins denies pro forma request to stay his own decision

He’s refused to do so, running out the clock for his Democratic allies

Last year, Collins tried to eliminate the legislature’s powers by calling it a “usurper body”

Raleigh, N.C. — Last week, after Judge Bryan Collins’s unsurprising ruling in favor of his Democratic allies’ secretive settlement to rewrite election law in the middle of the election, the legislature announced its plans to immediately appeal.

But one week later, that appeal still can’t begin because Judge Collins is holding it up. Legislative leaders over the weekend filed this motion urging him to allow the appeals process to begin.

Judge Collins is prohibiting the legislature from following its legal path to an appeal. He has to simply deny the standard, pro forma request to stay his own decision, and until he does that the legislature can’t formally lodge its case with the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Ordinarily, judges rule upon the standard motion to stay within a day or two. Instead, Judge Collins has refused to rule and took the unusual step of scheduling a hearing on the matter for Oct. 16, two weeks after entering his original order.

If Judge Collins thinks his own order should be stayed pending appeal, then he should stay it. But if not, he should deny the stay request and let the people’s representatives appeal his rewrite of election laws with voting already underway.

Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), who co-chairs the Senate Elections Committee, said, “One lawless judge whose district is one-sixth of one county is preventing the legislature from appealing yet another of his outrageous decisions. Two federal judges have already rebuked Gov. Roy Cooper’s Board of Elections for changing the law with voting already underway, yet Judge Collins refuses to let the state case move forward. It’s lawless arrogance and is deeply harmful to the rule of law.”

Background on What’s Happening

Last month, Gov. Cooper’s Board of Elections and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein ambushed their co-defendants, the legislature, by “settling” a lawsuit filed by Gov. Cooper’s former lawyer, Marc Elias, to undo state laws guarding against absentee ballot fraud. Two federal judges have already rebuked the move.

But Judge Collins, who last year tried to eliminate the legislature’s Constitutional authority by deeming the General Assembly a “usurper body,” approved the secretive settlement with Josh Stein and now refuses to let the legal process play out.

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