NC Lawmakers File Motion to Recuse Justice Ervin in Redistricting Cases

On Thursday, attorneys for the North Carolina General Assembly filed a motion asking State Supreme Court Justice Samuel Ervin IV to recuse himself 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 Ervin.
State Supreme Court Samuel Ervin IV
  • “Justice Samuel J. Ervin IV is the only sitting justice on this Court who is currently up for reelection in November 2022 and, therefore, the only sitting justice on this Court who may face a primary if another Democratic candidate files for his seat.”
  • “Justice Ervin participated in a decision that halts candidates from filing for office against him, moves his opponents’ primary election back two months, and authorizes a truncated filing period for any more opponents when, and only when, this Court enters its final order on the proceedings…” effectively freezing out primary opponents.
  • “Decisions that he makes on redistricting may impact voter turnout or other factors of the general election.”
  • “Decisions Justice Ervin makes directly about the election process could impact his own electability and creates a situation where his own impartiality may reasonably be questioned.”
  • “Justice Ervin’s perfectly natural desire to continue public service as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court is an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of this proceeding.”
  • “Accordingly, Justice Ervin should follow the examples of other jurists and recuse himself from consideration of these matters.”