Editorial: Convenient political choices

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 11:25 PM

Convenience of the argument, a longtime tradition particularly among politicians, has paid a visit to a midterm Senate hopeful and a possible gubernatorial candidate.

North Carolina’s voters have already spoken on same-sex marriage and could do so again. Their choice — whether convenient or big picture view — will be interesting.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in Virginia. The ruling doesn’t immediately affect North Carolina’s constitutional change, but we are a part of the 4th Circuit and the case is expected to land in front of the Supreme Court.

That wouldn’t happen before House speaker Thom Tillis hits the finish line trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in November. It would probably be 2015 at the earliest, the year before state attorney general Roy Cooper is expected to run for governor.

North Carolina has been roundly scrutinized as favoring Republicans through redistricting. Democrats were criticized similarly for a century. But on this ballot box measure in spring of 2012 for all voters, just over 61 percent spoke strongly.

In the aftermath of the Virginia decision, Cooper — who supports same-sex marriage — has said he won’t defend our state’s ban. He reasons arguments have been made at every step, none are left and a decision from the highest court is inevitable.

Tillis take? “Too many politicians ignore the will of the people.”

He should know about “the people,” many of whom have paid visits to Jones Street the last two summers wanting to be heard amid a Republican freight train of change.

Cooper is in muddied waters, even without the murkiness added by possible political ambitions. He doesn’t have to agree with North Carolina law, but 9.8 million residents should expect him to execute his duties on their behalf. With Tillis’ crew in action, the tests keep coming.

While the partisan political divide is strong as ever, unaffiliated voters have grown to nearly 27 percent in the Old North State. Although a snail’s pace, they are weakening the gerrymandering.

That’s convenient and encouraging for the “will of the people,” something politicians would be wise not to ignore.