N.C. Supreme Court Rules for Governor in Major Elections Case



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Jan. 30, 2018

Robinson Bradshaw represented former Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. and former Chief Justice Burley B. Mitchell Jr. as friends of the court in litigation that concluded last week when the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down the General Assembly's statute revamping North Carolina's state elections board.

Former Gov. Hunt, who served four terms as North Carolina governor, and former Chief Justice Mitchell, who served for 17 years on the North Carolina Supreme Court, argued that courts have a critical role to play in enforcing the constitutional separation of powers and that the challenged election legislation interfered with the governor's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the state's election laws.

In upholding both points, the Supreme Court relied extensively on its 2016 decision in McCrory v. Berger, where Robinson Bradshaw represented then-Gov. Patrick McCrory and former Govs. James Hunt and James Martin. In that litigation, the governors argued that the legislature had intruded on the governor's constitutional powers in taking control over three commissions of state government. The Supreme Court's decision last week cites McCrory over 60 times, with both the majority and dissent relying on this precedent.  

Robinson Bradshaw attorneys John R. Wester, J. Dickson Phillips III, Adam K. Doerr and Kevin R. Crandall wrote the amicus brief on behalf of former Gov. Hunt and former Chief Justice Mitchell, and Wester and Phillips were on the Robinson Bradshaw team representing the governors in the trial court and the Supreme Court in McCrory v. Berger.

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