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North Carolina State Constitution, Article V, Section 7 & 8 (Where Do I Turn) / An Open Letter To The Editor

To: opinion@charlotteobserver.com

Dear Editor,

Prior to the City of Asheville, North Carolina seating a one Cecil Bothwell, a professed aethist on their City Council, I would point out to both the Mayor, Board of Elections, District Attorney, City Attorney, the Asheville Citizen-Times Newspaper, WLOS (Channel 13 Television News) and the Asheville/Hendersonville Tribune Newspaper that according to the North Carolina State Constitution that Mr. Bothwell was disqualified to serve in that position based upon Article 6, section 8 of the North Carolina State Constitution which clearly states that if one does not believe in the Almighty God, they are disqualified from taking office.

In defiance of the State Constitution, the City of Asheville would place itself above the law, prepare some type of affirmation oath and place Mr. Bothwell upon its Council with the exclamation that the North Carolina Constitution had been trumped by the United States Constitution while quoting a case law decided in the State of Maryland on the grounds of a religious test, disregarding that Article VI, section 7, (the Oath) or section 8 (Disqualifications) does not fall into the parameters of a religious test as intended by the Framers or the case law targeted. Had this been the case, surely those who are responsible for the content of the Constitution would have removed it, or not have placed it there.

On December 10, 2009, I would in a email message to Lt. Governor Walter Dalton in his capacity as the President of the Senate and to the President Tempore where laws are made and enacted, ask for a clarification and resolution of my inquiry. I would be told by the Lt. Governor that, "The issue that you reference is not a legislative decision, but rather a legal one". And the question of the legality of a provision in the State Constitution is one that must be decided by the court system.

On December 26, 2009, I would turn to the North Carolina Department of Justice and its head, the Attorney General whose duties are clearly defined as when public safety and interest are at stake, the Attorney General can take legal action on behalf of the State and its citizens. I would ask of Attorney General Cooper if indeed the City of Asheville could operate in a manner describe by the State Constitution was indeed unlawful or unenforceable as described by them? As of yet, the Attorney General has not responded.

It is my assumption as a citizen of the State, that no entity should be allowed to operate above the law. And until the people of the State and the Assembly elected by them come together in a Convention to revise or amend our Constitution, it is law and should be enforced. And as a citizen of the State, at the very least, I should be accorded an explanation by either those who make the law, interpret the law, and enforce the law about this matter.

HK Edgerton
President
Southern Heritage 411