North Carolinians disagrees with Phil Berger Jr., Voters Support State Courts To Be Fair and Impartial

North Carolinians disagrees with Phil Berger Jr., Voters Support State Courts To Be Fair and Impartial

On Friday, Justice Phil Berger Jr. renounced his refusal to recuse himself  from NAACP v. Moore, a lawsuit regarding the 2018 constitutional amendments on Voter ID and the income tax cap. The plaintiffs, the NAACP and the Southern Environmental Law Center, have asked for Justice Berger’s recusal because his own father, Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger Sr., is a defendant in the lawsuit. 

  • A majority of North Carolina voters, including Republicans, have made it clear in a recent poll that fair litigation on our elections cannot be decided by family members, and support Justice Berger Jr.’s recusal.
  •  72% of respondents believe that Justice Phil Berger Jr. should recuse himself from hearing cases involving his father.
  • Furthermore, the same poll reveals that North Carolinians are keenly aware of the impact of gerrymandering and look to state courts to ensure our electoral maps are constitutional.
  • 74% of respondents citing gerrymandering as either a “very serious problem” or “somewhat serious problem”, and 72% of respondents believe that state courts should be aggressive in limiting gerrymandering.

Berger Jr.’s refusal to respect North Carolina voter’s support of fair litigation, and attempt to slide past the blatant conflict of interest within this case, underscores the Berger’s reluctance to uphold North Carolinian’s interests.

If anything, Berger Jr. should take notes from a Connecticut Supreme Court justice who recently recused herself from a redistricting lawsuit, due to her son being speaker of the state House. 

Bottom Line:

Judges are supposed to be impartial, that is why many justices, like Justice Christine E. Keller, have stepped away from a case when they have a conflict of interest.

Justice Phil Berger Jr. has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of many justices who have upheld their duty to be fair and impartial. Ultimately, Berger Jr.’s recusal would prove to voters that he prioritizes integrity in the courts and our judicial process.

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Alanna Joyner

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