Conservatives frequently complain about judicial activism on our nation’s courts and they have a valid point. Judicial activism happens when judges do not confine themselves to reasonable interpretations of laws, but instead create law. Alternatively, judicial activism also happens when courts do not limit their ruling to the dispute before them, but instead establish a new rule to apply broadly to issues not presented in the specific action. Federal judges have been making laws from the bench for years without restraint. Unfortunately for the citizens of North Carolina, judges in this state have also begun to make policy from the bench.
While the power to change the law or make new laws is supposed to be the sole power of the Legislature, with a little help from the Governor, some judges in North Carolina have gone even further. They have committed official acts that are in violation of the law.
A recent legal case highlights liberal judicial activism in our state courts. State Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) is the state’s first openly homosexual elected legislator. Boseman and her former partner are at the center of a case involving the illegal adoption of a child.
The story of how Boseman and her partner ended up in court arguing over the custody of a child is long and mostly unfit in a family oriented newspaper. The high profile of this case and the legal rulings handed down by the North Carolina Court of Appeals have revealed an ongoing conspiracy of lawyers and judges that have been breaking the law and thumbing their noses at the voters of North Carolina for several years.
It is important to note that North Carolina law allows two kinds of adoption:
- Single or married people may adopt a child if the child’s biological parents have either waived their parental rights or had them taken away by legal authorities.
- A step parent may adopt their spouse’s child if the other biological parent waived their parental rights or had them taken away by legal authorities.
It is also important to note that single parents are not questioned about their sexuality, thus allowing homosexual individuals to adopt children in North Carolina should a Clerk of Courts, or Judge, agree that the prospective parent is capable of raising a child. There is no provision in North Carolina law to allow two unmarried people to adopt the same child.
Lawyers in Durham and Chapel Hill have set up quite a lucrative trade by assuring same-sex couples from all over the state that they can make something happen that cannot happen anywhere else and they have been well paid for the service. Court insiders have revealed that each adoption case added $15,000 to the lawyers’ pockets.
By using judges in liberal Durham and Orange counties that side step the law, these lawyers have pushed through several hundred adoptions to homosexual couples. The exact number is not known for a very unusual reason. The adoption files were sealed after they were granted by the judges. If this is such a wonderful and normal process, why has it been hidden from the public for at least the last four years?
What are the consequences for these judges and lawyers breaking the law? Nothing. No disciplinary reviews by the NC Bar. No suspensions from the bench. Despite the fact that any resulting legal precedent will apply to the whole state, the voters of the state will not have a say in the next elections these judges face. Voters – in the “people’s republics” of Durham and Orange counties – will likely vote to keep them in office.
While reasonable people can disagree about whether or not North Carolina should grant adoptions to same-sex couples, respect for the rule of law should be agreeable to all citizens. The constitution of North Carolina clearly grants the power to make law to the Legislature, but lawmakers have been silent on this taking of their legal powers.
The most troubling question is which law will judges and lawyers decide not to follow next?