STEIN'S SHOCKING BEHAVIOR
NCGOP Questions Attorney General's Authority To Represent Opinions Of State Board Members Without Evidence Of Authorization
Raleigh, N.C. — After yesterday's shocking about-face by Attorney General Josh Stein, the North Carolina Republican Party is questioning whether he obtained permission from the Board and its individual members before representing their alleged opposition to the constitutional amendments appearing on the ballot. The DOJ represented that it was joining the Governor's lawsuit on behalf of the State Board in court, and DOJ also appeared to join in part the side of the NAACP/SELC regarding the ballot language on the Voter ID and Tax Cap amendments on behalf of the individual board members.
It is highly unusual for an attorney to make a decision of this magnitude without a formal request or vote from his client board. It is illegal for any member of the board to take a public stance on a ballot question under G.S. 163A-2(i)(4).
In the first case, brought by the Governor against the State Board and General Assembly, there is no evidence that any vote was taken authorizing the Attorney General to represent the board in this extraordinary way. The second case was brought against the General Assembly and each individual State Board member. There is no evidence that each Board member gave authorization for the Attorney General to represent their views on any amendments.
"When did Attorney General Stein receive authorization from the Board?" questioned Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse. "When did he receive authorization from each individual Board appointee to represent that they believe each of the amendments is unconstitutionally vague and misleading?"
Stein's decision to create confusion is no different than the collusion between him and Governor Cooper regarding the voter ID law that was set to go before the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts stated that the Court's decision not to take up the case should "not be taken as an indication of the justices' views on the broader issues at stake," but that the "decision was due to confusion over the newly-elected Democratic governor and attorney general's efforts to have the state back out of the litigation and accept the 4th Circuit's decision last year voiding the controversial measure."
"Stein's decision to abandon his statutory responsibility to defend the laws of the land and join the Governor’s partisan crusade to prevent the voters from having their say on constitutional amendments is shocking and unlawful," continued Woodhouse. "By sending your lawyers to argue against the General Assembly’s undisputed authority to write amendment ballot language, you have violated your core duties."