Fate Of Voter ID Legislation Crafted By Senate Leader Phil Berger In Hands Of His Son — Justice Phil Berger Jr.
At the end of the month, the North Carolina Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on two issues that will have lasting impacts on our state – requiring voter ID and placing a cap on income taxes. One of the defendants in the upcoming case is Republican Senator Phil Berger Sr. whose son Phil Berger Jr. happens to serve as a justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
According to the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge “should perform the duties of the judge’s office impartially and diligently” and “should disqualify themselves when a person ‘within the third degree of relationship.’” Presiding over a case involving your father is certainly not impartial and plaintiffs in the case are arguing that they are “within a first-degree relationship.”
“This is yet another example of how Berger Jr. and Berger Sr. exploit the powers of the offices they currently hold for personal and political clout. Berger Jr. has raised tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists due to his father’s appearance at an event, and now Berger Sr. is poised to benefit from his son’s seat on the court, influencing a case that would make it harder for North Carolinians to vote. We call for Justice Phil Berger Jr. to recuse himself from this case prior to the start of oral arguments and to put the people of North Carolina ahead of his family’s interests,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson.
Read more in a recent NC Policy Watch story.