The best op-ed of the weekend: A new inductee into the “North Carolina’s Trumpian Hall of Shame”

Former Chief Justice Mark Martin B.T. (Before Trump)

If you missed it, be sure to check out Ned Barnett’s excellent weekend column in Raleigh’s News & Observer: “NC Chief Justice to Trump abettor: What happened to Mark Martin?”

As the headline rightfully notes, it’s very hard to figure out what in the heck happened to North Carolina’s one-time moderate Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice-turned law school dean. As Barnett notes, the New York Times has reported twice that Martin has become one of the poor and embarrassing souls who’ve been reduced to trying to aid Trump’s preposterous effort to overturn the presidential election.

After describing the Times’ reports — which indicate that Martin both: a) advised Mike Pence that he could unilaterally refuse to certify Electoral College results and, b) aided an utterly absurd lawsuit on behalf of some Republican attorneys general that sought to have to U.S. Supreme Court do the same thing, Barnett puts it this way:

Perhaps Martin’s involvement with Trump as the president raged against his clear defeat was less direct and his advice more nuanced than described by the Times. He should clear it up. Otherwise it looks like the state’s former chief justice, a member of the state’s high court for more than 20 years, is either an inept lawyer, a blind Trump loyalist, or both.

Indeed. Maybe the explanation is that Martin has already spent too much time working at Pat Robertson’s law school, but whatever the reason for his cringe-worthy actions, Barnett is right that Martin now deserves to be inducted into “North Carolina’s Trumpian Hall of Shame” — a group that Barnett rightfully says also includes:

Louis DeJoy of Greensboro, the postmaster general whose abrupt changes in mail processing threatened the prompt delivery of mail-in ballots.

Sidney Powell, the graduate of Raleigh’s Broughton High School, UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC Law School, who fed Trump conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines.

Mark Meadows, the former North Carolina congressman and White House chief of staff, who joined in as Trump pressured Georgia election officials to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss there.

The freshman U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-11th, who rallied a pro-Trump crowd before the attack on the Capitol saying, “Wow! This crowd has some fight in it.”

The seven of North Carolina’s eight Republicans in the U.S. House (Cawthorn included) who – even after the mob stormed the Capitol – voted against certifying election results showing Biden as the winner.

And, finally, North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, who voted to not even bother with an impeachment trial.

All in all — it’s sad ending for someone who once did a pretty fair impression of an honorable public servant.

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