Judges Who Blocked NC's Voter ID Law Exhibited Bias, Should Have Recused Themselves

‘Judges are explicitly prohibited from doing this, according to their own rules…’

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(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) After a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the state’s voter ID law on Feb. 18, a conservative group filed an ethics complaint that claims two biased judges should have recused themselves from the case.
The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute said judges Tobias Hampson and John Arrowood explicitly stated their political opposition to voter ID laws in 2018, ABC11 reported.
Before Arrowood and Hampson became judges on the Court of Appeals, they filled out a questionnaire from the People’s Alliance PAC and answered questions regarding four Constitutional amendments that North Carolina’s voters were considering. One of the amendments was a voter ID law.
“I intend to vote against the Voter ID and Judicial Vacancy amendments,” Arrowood responded on the questionnaire.
“I intend to vote no on each of the proposed amendments,” Hampson likewise responded.
Civitas President Donald Bryson said the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission should find that the judges were compromised in their ability to fairly decide the case.
“Judges are explicitly prohibited from doing this, according to their own rules,” he said. “Voters already feel like their voice at the ballot box has been nullified by these judges, now they know they did not even get the fair hearing that the law demands.”
The people of North Carolina decisively approved the Constitutional amendment in 2018 on a ballot referendrum, but both a federal and a state court have overturned that decision because it would allegedly “disproportionately impact African American voters to their detriment.”
North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said the three-judge panel sided “with democracy,” though the court explicitly rejected the outcome of the democratic process.
All three judges who decided to block the people’s vote are Democrats.
This is the second setback for the voter ID amendment, after a federal court decided that North Carolina could not require voter ID in the state’s March primary elections.

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