March 20, 2017
North Carolina Merger of State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission Ruled Unconstitutional
On March 17, a three-judge panel ruled that the North Carolina General Assembly overstepped its state constitutional authority when it adopted Senate Bill 4 establishing a bipartisan board to oversee elections and consider ethics complaints and issues.
The ruling held that lawmakers violated the separation of powers in trying to take control over appointments in the governor’s administration.
Prior to Senate Bill 4, the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission were separate entities and the governor had the power to appoint a majority from his own party to preside over elections. Lawmakers could appeal the decision.