This Article explores the development of the political question doctrine in North Carolina jurisprudence. The Article describes the federal origins of the doctrine and charts its adoption in North Carolina, first through the litigation of fundamental rights cases and later in separation of powers matters. The political question doctrine is a prudential doctrine exercised by courts that serves as a bar to relief on matters where the coordinate political branches of government—the executive and legislative—may have primacy. This Article concludes that the doctrine has been narrowed over time in North Carolina, though it may still be utilized in certain instances.
William C. McKinney, The Modern Origins and Evolution of the North Carolina Political Question Doctrine, 44 Campbell L. Rev. 199 (2022).