N.C. Lawmakers Call for Recusal of Appeals Court Justice in Voter ID Case Who Led Lawsuits Opposing Voter ID

Judge Christopher Brook led legal efforts to invalidate voter ID in North Carolina as Legal Director for state American Civil Liberties Union chapter  

Code of Judicial Conduct says judges should disqualify on motion “in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality may reasonably be questioned”

Raleigh, N.C. – Lawmakers moved for the recusal of a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from a voter ID case on Friday because the judge previously worked to invalidate voter ID laws as legal director of the state’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter.

Attorneys for General Assembly leaders filed the motion to recuse Judge Brook in the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Friday in a case considering the state’s voter ID law, Holmes v. Moore.

North Carolina is the last state in the Southeast not to have some form of voter ID.  The state’s voter ID law is ‘non-strict,’ meaning voters can still cast a ballot without presenting a qualifying ID at the polls by simply by signing an affidavit. 

The motion for recusal provides hundreds of pages of documentation of Judge Brook’s prior legal advocacy and public statements opposing voter ID in North Carolina

“These and other facts laid out below raise a reasonable question of impartiality and thus form a firm ground for Judge Brook’s disqualification,” state lawmakers wrote to the court on Friday. 

After an all-liberal activist appeals court panel reversed the ruling of a bipartisan trial court upholding North Carolina’s voter ID law, state lawmakers recently asked all 15 judges on the Court of Appeals to hear the case together, en banc.

State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said North Carolinians deserve a fair hearing free of impartiality given they voted to support a constitutional amendment to require photo voter ID.

“North Carolina’s voter ID law was recently upheld by a bipartisan trial court, and the people deserve another impartial hearing of the full Court of Appeals to vindicate their voice in the democratic process that has been blocked by an all-liberal activist panel of judges,” Speaker Moore said Friday. 

Read the recusal motion here