judicial elections

Candidate filing begins Monday for this year’s judicial elections in North Carolina. The filing period comes in the wake of a series of political and court battles over how judges should be elected in the state.  

Mountain XPress

Buncombe County Democratic Senator Terry Van Duyn was sharply critical of a committee looking at changes to North Carolina's judiciary Friday.  The Joint Select Committee On Judicial Reform and Redistricting looked at proposals for new maps for judges.  They also discussed proposals to take the power of vacancy appointments away from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and give it to the Republican-dominated General Assembly.  Towards the end of the t

Primaries for North Carolina state appellate court seats won't happen this year if a federal appeals court decision stands. A panel of judges Friday reversed a lower court decision that would have required the primaries, giving a victory to Republican state lawmakers.

Pexels

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina law that cancels primaries this year for judicial seats has been partially halted.

A federal judge on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction directing state election officials to hold primaries for appellate court judgeships in May. But U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles refused to restore primary elections for local trial court seats.

Democrats sued to overturn the law and asked Eagles to step in, with candidate filing for other races starting Feb. 12.

It appears that judicial redistricting is again stalled in the North Carolina General Assembly. That comes after a recent show of confidence from leading state Republicans that the issue might pick up momentum.

BEN GRAUMANN, EQUALITY NC

The Joint Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting met again Monday to discuss changes to the courts.  Possible changes include redistricting for judges and a "merit-selection" process that could bypass voters altogether.  Democrats argue Republicans are trying to rig the courts in their favor after seeing a number of decisions go against them.  Republicans say the changes are long overdue.  

BPR recorded the meeting in full.  

Ben Graumann, Equality NC

Updated Thursday 4pm 

A highly anticipated judiciary committee meeting was held Thursday afternoon.  For nearly 3 hours, Senate and House lawmakers discussed various merit selection proposals as well as new district maps for judges.  Democrats were skeptical of the GOP plans, especially considering the number of maps drawn for legislative and Congressional members that heavily favored Republicans.

On Thursday, about three dozen people marched silently through uptown Charlotte. Their mission was to protest a controversial judicial redistricting plan proposed by Republican lawmakers.

A senate committee looking at judicial redistricting and reform will meet Wednesday in Raleigh, a few weeks after Democrats walked out of a previous meeting.

The Republican chairs had refused to allow a retired superior court judge invited by Democrats to address the committee.

WRAL

Friday update:

(Associated Press) The North Carolina House leader predicts redrawn election districts for trial court judges can be finalized with Senate Republicans by the end of January. But he's unsure what his colleagues think about a Senate proposal eliminating head-to-head judicial elections.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger appointed Thursday members of a special bipartisan joint committee tasked with recommending judicial changes to the General Assembly.

Asheville Citizen-Times

Senators meeting to discuss whether to retool how judges are chosen in North Carolina are now collecting information from some professors and a national judicial reform group.

The Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting holds its second meeting today at 1pm, with representatives from the University of North Carolina law school and Brennan Center for Justice making presentations.

WRAL

North Carolina’s Republican-dominated General Assembly has made a number of changes to the way judges are elected in the state, with many more proposals under current consideration.  They include making races partisan and changes to district lines and term lengths, even eliminating some vacancies and proposals to do away with elections for judges altogether.  Former state Supreme Court justice Robert Orr, a Republican, is no fan of the changes.  He spoke with BPR’s Jeremy Loeb about the proposals and about the state of the Republican party under President Donald Trump.

State lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a constitutional amendment to reduce all judicial terms to two years.

A proposal to extensively realign North Carolina's judicial election districts for the first time since the 1950s smacks of a Republican effort to put more GOP lawyers on the bench, critics said Wednesday.

WRAL

The leader of a North Carolina House committee considering changes to judicial election districts says updated boundaries based on outside feedback will be considered at the panel's next meeting, possibly next week.

WRAL

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes in two weeks, and some House Republicans keep working meanwhile to get proposed changes to judicial election districts on the agenda when colleagues return.

A House committee discussing redrawing voting districts for trial court judges and district attorneys holds its second meeting today at 1pm. A wholesale redraw hasn't occurred in more than 60 years. Republicans say redistricting would create fairer districts. Democrats argue it's a pretense for GOP gerrymandering.

With approval of new North Carolina legislative districts behind them, House Republicans returned Tuesday to Raleigh to advance their efforts to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

WRAL

Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly remain suspicious about an effort by Republicans to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

A special House panel examining judicial redistricting met for the first time Tuesday, with a goal of passing proposed boundaries in time for the full chamber to consider them when the legislature reconvenes in early October.

WRAL

North Carolina Republicans introduced and advanced controversial legislation in the final days of session that would reshape district lines for judicial races across the state.

Matt Bush BPR

The North Carolina House of Representatives is scheduled Wednesday to attempt to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill regarding judicial elections.