NC Lawmakers File Motion to Recuse Justice Anita Earls in Redistricting Case

On Wednesday, attorneys for the North Carolina General Assembly filed a motion asking State Supreme Court Anita Earls to recuse herself from presiding over the redistricting cases.
In order to support recusal, a litigant must show “that there exists such a personal bias, prejudice or interest on the part of the judge that he would be unable to rule impartially.”
In the motion filed in court yesterday, attorneys for the General Assembly noted the following as justification for the recusal of Justice Earls.
NC State Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls
  • “(In) 2018, when Justice Earls was campaigning for a seat on this Court, her campaign committee—Earls For Justice Committee—accepted the maximum amount of individual funds from the National Democratic Redistricting PAC: then $5,200.00.”
  • “The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (“NDRC”) also endorsed Justice Earls for election.”
  • “Upon information and belief, on the same day the National Democratic Redistricting PAC gave Justice Earls $5,200.00 (20 September 2018) it gave $250,000.00 to the North Carolina Democratic Party’s ‘judicial coordination fund.'”
  • The $250,000 was funneled directly to elect Anita Earls by Eric Holder, who is now directly funding this ongoing litigation over which Justice Earls could preside.
  • “Defendants do not highlight these contributions to argue that they are necessarily unlawful. Rather, these contributions highlight influence—the very concern that as an advocate before joining the bench, Justice Earls argued to the federal court.”
  • At the time, Justice Earls argued:
“… If supposedly independent political committees are allowed to receive unlimited contributions, donors will use those contributions to buy access to and influence with those candidates aided by the committee. Such unlimited contributions, even if given to supposedly independent committees, create the potential for the same kind of corruption that was at the heart of the Supreme Court’s analysis in McConnell upholding restrictions on donations to party committees.”