A new nonprofit organization, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, was formally announced yesterday. This brief announcement belies the huge impact the group could have on state government. Their mission statement clearly indicates they are set to challenge any and all laws that are passed that do not adhere to our Constitution. Chairman of the group is former Banking Commissioner and judge Bill Graham, known to be a staunch advocate of strict interpretation of the Constitution. The board consists of Robinson Everett, the man who successfully challenged past redistricting plans; Ron Link, former Acting Dean at UNC Law; William Maready, lawyer from Winston-Salem who was unsuccessful in preventing government from giving tax dollars to private corporations; and Art Pope, former state Representative and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, from Raleigh. The group is expected to take up the challenge on issues of redistricting, the public purpose provision of the Constitution and giving public dollars to private entities, illegal transfers of designated tax dollars within the state budget, and the tax increment financing amendment to be voted on in November.
LOOK FOR A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT within the next week as to who will the full time director of the new institute. We have learned it will be a highly prominent public official who will bring instant credibility to the group. If the group gets proper funding it could be a major player in state politics for years to come.