Courts & the Law, News

Hearing set for end of June in State Board of Education lawsuit

A three-judge panel will hear arguments in the State Board of Education’s lawsuit against North Carolina and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson at 10 a.m. June 29.

The notice of hearing was filed Monday in the Wake County Superior Court.

The State Board of Education sued North Carolina just before the New Year over legislators’ action transferring power from the Board to Johnson, a recently elected Republican.

House Bill 17 is in conflict with Article IX, Section 5 of the North Carolina Constitution, which expressly confers certain “powers and duties” on the Board.

Because of the conflict with the Constitution, experts have said that the State Board of Education’s argument is strong and they expect them to prevail.

The State Board of Education has requested a summary judgment and preliminary injunction in the case, and the state has requested to dismiss the case. Johnson has also requested a summary judgment.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed Martin appointed the following judges to preside over the case: Judge Forrest Donald Bridges, who is registered to vote as a Democrat and presides in Cleveland and Lincoln counties; Judge James F. Ammons Jr., a former Democrat now registered as unaffiliated who presides in Cumberland County; and Judge Martin B. McGee, a Republican who presides in Cabarrus County.

The hearing will be held in the courtroom of the North Carolina Court of Appeals building at 1 West Morgan Street in Raleigh.

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