NC Supreme Court

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Perhaps the biggest race on the ballot for North Carolina voters is for a seat on the state Supreme Court.  The seat is currently held by Republican Barbara Jackson.  She has two challengers in Democrat Anita Earls and Republican Chris Anglin.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb conducted in-depth interviews with each of them.

A state Supreme Court candidate on Monday won permission for now from a judge to have his Republican affiliation listed on the November ballots.

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.

The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a case Wednesday over a power struggle between Republican State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Republican-led State Board of Education. Shortly after Johnson's election in 2016, the General Assembly passed a law to shift powers from the governor-appointed board to the superintendent.

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.

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.

A longtime civil rights attorney who successfully sued in striking down North Carolina's legislative district boundaries for excessive racial bias announced Wednesday she's running for the state Supreme Court next year.

The U.S. Supreme Court has told North Carolina's top court to reconsider a redistricting lawsuit filed by Democrats and allies after the nation's highest court struck down congressional districts as racial gerrymanders.

America's judicial system has been the target of a number of political attacks this year.

And not just from President Donald Trump questioning the legitimacy of some, quote "so-called" judges or saying he wants to break up the Federal appeals court which struck down his travel ban.

A new report by the left leaning Brennan Center for Justice finds Republican controlled legislatures across the country are targeting state courts and remaking them for potential political gain. They have tracked at least 41 such bills in 15 states and that's just since January 1 of this year.

Confidence In Courts Eroding, NC Study Finds

Apr 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

A panel studying North Carolina’s court system is recommending changes.  It would be the first overhaul of the courts in the digital age. Mike Collins speaks with two of the panel's co-chairs, including an associate justice on North Carolina's Supreme Court.

Colin Campbell/News & Observer

There were more protests and arrests Friday as lawmakers continued their surprise additional special session to limit the powers of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.  On party-line votes, both chambers passed SB4, a bill that includes broad election changes.  It was quickly signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, according to House Speaker Tim Moore.  The legislature also passed HB17, which restricts Cooper's ability to make appointments.

State lawmakers will convene in Raleigh Tuesday to deal with disaster relief, but the agenda is open-ended.

Lame duck Republican Governor Pat McCrory called this gathering to deal with disaster relief stemming from Hurricane Matthew and mountain wildfires in western North Carolina, as well as “for the purpose of addressing any other matters the General Assembly elects to consider.”

Arguably the most influential race on your Election Day ballot is between two men you’ve never heard of. Bob Edmunds and Mike Morgan.

Edmunds is a Republican. Morgan a Democrat. And the victor will decide whether liberals take over or conservative hold their majority on North Carolina’s Supreme Court.

COURTESY OF NC SUPREME COURT

North Carolina has been a prime focus of both presidential campaigns.  The ballot this year will also include hotly contested races for Governor and US Senate.  Down-ballot races have gotten less attention, but could be just as critical.  One of those is the race for state Supreme Court.  While the race is officially non-partisan, the ideological split of the court is on the line.  Associate Justice Bob Edmunds is up for re-election, with Republicans holding a slim 4-3 majority on the court.  Edmunds is a registered Republican.

Cyberbullying has been a criminal offense in North Carolina since 2009. But the state supreme court has ruled a key part of the cyberbullying law is unconstitutional. In a unanimous decision last week, the court found it violates the First Amendment by restricting speech.

WFAE's Lisa Worf joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey ro discuss.

Voters in western North Carolina made choices in several Congressional races Tuesday.  In the closest race, Democrats Rick Bryson and Tom Hill battled in the 11th District.  Bryson just barely eked out a win, 50.75 % of the vote to Hill's 49.25%.  The vote count was 9,636 to 9,351.  Bryson will face incumbent Republican Congressman Mark Meadows in November. 

A field of candidates vying for a spot on the state Supreme Court has been cut in half.

Incumbent Bob Edmunds and Wake County Judge Mike Morgan received the top two vote totals on Tuesday.

North Carolina voters may be surprised about today's primary election, considering they just voted months ago.  But because of several court rulings, a second primary is taking place today.  And while turnout is expected to be low, the stakes are high.  Congressional races and the ideological split of the state Supreme Court are up for grabs.  For what to look for in Tuesday's primary, I spoke with Dr. Chris Cooper, head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University. 

On June 7, North Carolina holds a special primary. And nearly all the focus of that primary has been on those running for the U.S. House. But there is another race on that ballot, the only one that is a state wide contest. At stake is control of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Early Voting Underway for June 7 Primary

May 27, 2016

Early voting is now underway for the June 7 primary. Voters will winnow the field of state Supreme Court justice nominees, from 4 to 2, and decide some congressional primary races as well. For a check on how early voting is playing out so far in Haywood County, WCQS’s Davin Eldridge spoke with Haywood County Board of Elections Director Robert Inman.

You can find locations and hours of early voting sites at your county's Board of Elections website.

wral.com

 A divided state Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Republican-backed program that spends taxpayer money on tuition for students at private and religious schools.

The 4-3 decision issued Thursday split North Carolina's highest court along party lines, reversing a lower court ruling declaring the state's Opportunity Scholarships unconstitutional.

wral.com

 The Supreme Court has thrown out a North Carolina court ruling that upheld Republican-drawn electoral districts for state and congressional lawmakers.

The justices on Monday ordered the state Supreme Court to consider anew whether the North Carolina legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew voting districts following the 2010 census.

The high court issued a similar ruling last month involving a complaint from black Alabama Democrats that the Republican-dominated legislature illegally packed black voters into too few voting districts.