North Carolina’s Attorney General, Josh Stein, is in hot water over legal filings regarding the state’s Voter ID lawsuit case.
A brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court this week contains accusations of several charges of severe ethical misconduct over Stein’s actions.
Stein didn’t act on his own, Governor Roy Cooper entered into the mix, announcing the action on the Governor’s Office official website.
“This morning, the Governor’s General Counsel and Chief Deputy Attorney General jointly sent a letter discharging outside counsel in the case on behalf of the State.”
At the time of the filings, Governor Cooper said that, “We need to make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, not harder, and I will not continue to waste time and money appealing this unconstitutional law. It’s time for North Carolina to stop fighting for this unfair, unconstitutional law and work instead to improve equal access for voters.”
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland.) fired back.
“Roy Cooper’s and Josh Stein’s desperate and politically-motivated stunt to derail North Carolina’s voter ID law is not only illegal, it also raises serious questions about whether they’ve allowed their own personal and political prejudices and conflicts of interest to cloud their professional judgment. We expect the courts to reject this unethical stunt just as they did when Cooper tried the same trick in the ‘Choose Life’ license tag case.”
Illegalities, ethical misconduct and more. What is specifically being talked about here? There are two key points are made clear by the brief.
First, when Josh Stein took office in January of this year, he filed a motion asking for dismissal of the appeal of a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which struck down the state’s voter ID law. Stein did so without notifying the General Assembly or the counsel representing the General Assembly in the case.
Second, during the trial portion of the Voter ID case, Josh Stein served as what is called a ‘fact witness’. He gave testimony to the court in opposition of the law. Upon taking office, Stein should have recused himself and not have been involved with the case thereafter.
These charges are serious.
J. Christian Adams at PJ Media points out these offenses are usually grounds for disbarment: