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February 25, 2004
Bill Graham, Chairman
RALEIGH- Former Superior Court Judge and State Commissioner of Banks Bill Graham announced today the formation of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law.

Graham said that the activities of the nonprofit NC Institute for Constitutional Law (ICL)- for which he is serving as founding Chairman of the Board of Directors, will be to "conduct research, educate and advise the general public, policy makers and the Bar on the rights of citizens under the North Carolina Constitution, as well as the Constitution of the United States of America."

"As appropriate," Graham added, "ICL shall engage in litigation on behalf of citizens and the public interest to protect these constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Taking its lead from the North Carolina Constitution, ICL notes in its mission statement that because, "a Frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of Liberty," a key element of the mission of the organization will be '"to advocate the principles of limited government and thereby ensure compliance with the constitutional restraints on government."

1CL seeks to protect the constitutional rights of individuals to engage in the voluntary exchanges of the free market, to protect their personal liberty against the encroachment of the state, and to participate in self-government by exercising their freedom to speak, write, assemble, petition and vote.

Potential Issues that ICL may address through research publications, and public-interest litigation include business subsidies and other targeted incentives for designated corporations, unconstitutional tax policies, and taxpayer funding for programs or activities beyond the state's proper Constitutional scope.

In addition to Graham - a Raleigh resident- ICL's initial Board of Directors includes Robinson Everett of Durham, a professor at Duke University School of Law and former Chief Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Ron Link of Chapel Hill, the Dan K. Moore Professor of Law and former Acting Dean at the University of North Carolina Law School; Bill Maready of Winston-Salem, the lead attorney and plaintiff of Wareach v. City of Winston-Salem
and Art Pope, of Raleigh, President of Variety Wholesalers, Inc. and a former four-term state representative from Wake County.

Heather Royster is serving as the Interim Director of ICL. Royster, a Raleigh resident, works as a legal counsel at Variety Wholesalers, Inc. and is a former attorney for the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm.

Graham said that ICL expects to make public the identity of its permanent Executive Director/Senior Counsel within the next week or so. He said this individual, who has already been selected, is "an extremely well-respected and very prominent current North Carolina public official."