NAACP v. Berger Moore Brief

 SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT:

The constitutional separation of powers is vital to the protection of individual liberty at both the state and federal levels of government. The constitutional requirements for standing are a key component of the separation of powers and help ensure courts are constrained to deciding cases and controversies instead of making judgments that are properly left to the other branches of government.

The trial court here erred in concluding that plaintiffs satisfied the requirements of standing imposed by the North Carolina Constitution. Plaintiffs have alleged only vague and unsubstantiated bases for standing, not any concrete and particularized injury in fact. Thus, plaintiffs’ case should have been dismissed for lack of standing.

Accordingly, the decision of the Superior Court below should be vacated and the case remanded with instructions to dismiss the action.

ARGUMENT:

  1. THE REQUIREMENTS OF STANDING ARE VITAL TO THE SEPARATION OF POWERS AND THUS THE PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY.

  2. AS WITH THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION REQUIRES AN INJURY-IN- FACT FOR A PLAINTIFF TO HAVE STANDING AND THUS FOR A COURT TO HAVE SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION.
    1. North Carolina Courts Have Historically Adhered To Federal Standing Requirements, Including The Requirement Of An Injury In Fact.
    2. A Plaintiff Who Fails To Establish Standing Thereby Fails To Establish Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

  3. THE PLAINTIFFS HERE HAVE FAILED TO ARTICULATE A VALID BASIS FOR STANDING, AND THUS THIS CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION.
    1. Plaintiffs Cannot Establish Standing To Challenge The Constitutional Amendment Authorizing A Voter Identification Requirement.
    2. Plaintiffs Cannot Establish Standing To Challenge The Constitutional Amendment Lowering The Cap On State Income Taxes.

  4. ENFORCING STANDING REQUIREMENTS PRESERVES THE INTEGRITY OF THE JUDICIARY.

CONCLUSION:

For the reasons stated above, the decision of the Superior Court should be vacated and this matter should be remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

AMICUS BRIEF:

Read the rest of the Amicus Brief here.

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