NC Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality Of Key Component Of Historic NCHBA Rulemaking Reform

NCHBA Assists In Key Supreme Court Decision

“More than two decades have passed since NCHBA led an historic effort to enact major reforms of the state rulemaking process,” said Mike Carpenter, NCHBA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “On Friday, the NC Supreme Court upheld a key component of those reforms from attack.”

In 1995, with NCHBA as the major driving force, the General Assembly enacted a number of significant changes in the way state rules get adopted. They included requiring a calculation of the financial impact a proposed rule would have (fiscal note) on the regulated community, delaying the effective date of rules to allow for legislative review if objections were lodged, creating a joint special committee of the General Assembly to oversee the rulemaking process, and strengthening the role of the NC Rules Review Commission (RRC). All of these reforms generated a great deal of opposition at the time and subsequently, especially from environmental groups, other proponents of executive branch power, and major daily newspaper editorial boards. One of the opponents’ favorite claims was that the increased powers given to the RRC were unconstitutional.

On Friday, in the case of NC State Board of Education v. The State of North Carolina and The North Carolina Rules Review Commission, the Supreme Court of North Carolina finally answered this question by holding that the powers delegated to the Rules Review Commission were in full compliance with our constitution. NCHBA joined the NC Chamber Legal Institute and the NC Retail Merchants Association in submitting an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the Supreme Court in support of the constitutionality of the RRC. See the court’s opinion here.

“We are delighted with this result which preserves what we fought so hard for so many years ago,” Carpenter said. “These last two decades have demonstrated the wisdom of the General Assembly in enacting these reforms which have literally saved our citizens millions of dollars in  compliance costs with unauthorized and unnecessary rules.”