Judicial election changes in North Carolina

Can our court system be gerrymandered? If there's a will there's a way.

HB 222 will change elections for the State Supreme Court and the State Court of Appeals. Under this bill, judges currently serving on these courts could choose to run, or not run, for reelection. If running for reelection, the citizen’s choice on the ballot would simply read, Vote to Reelect, or Vote not to Reelect.

That’s right. Under RETENTION ELECTIONS, a judge already on the court runs UNOPPOSED for reelection on a NON-PARTISAN BALLOT. UNOPPOSED. No choice between candidates. If the largest number of votes came back Do Not Reelect, another election would be held to choose between 2 candidates.

There has been talk for many years regarding how to manage judicial elections. Some view this change as a small, but necessary, start to lessen the politics in judicial elections. Some think any change is better than no change. It seems public financing of judicial elections, to cut the political connections and lessen fund raising, was not acceptable to Republicans, but this particular change is. Why?

Let’s see how upcoming elections would turn out given who is already on the Supreme Court.

REPUBLICAN Judge Robert H. Edmunds would run UNOPPOSED for reelection in 2016.

REPUBLICAN Judge Barbara Jackson would run UNOPPOSED for reelection in 2018.

REPUBLICAN Judge Paul Newby would run UNOPPOSED for reelection in 2020.

And, presumably, DEMOCRATIC Judge Sam J. Ervin IV would run unopposed for reelection in 2020.

Given the power of incumbency, this Retention Election method would effectively gerrymander our State Supreme Court as a Republican fiefdom for the indefinite future. The bill has passed both houses of the legislature and may have even been signed already by the governor.

Personally, I don't like it.

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More lawsuits

This one will carry the stench of "conflict of interest" for generations.

Forgive me if I've said this

Forgive me if I've said this before, but a very long time ago I read that Americans would tolerate a lot of abuse from their legislators and a lot of abuse from their executive, as long as they felt they could trust the court system to be fair. But when they lost trust in the courts to look out, because the revolution was coming.

It's begun to feel as if we are at that point. We can no longer trust that our courts won't rule in favor of corporate interests or political interests.

Yep

This is what I mean when I say uprising.

So, Out Of Curiousity

is the loser of the retention election barred from the subsequent election? Or do you have to beat the incumbent twice to get rid of him?

Actually, there won't be a second election

If the voters don't re-elect the sitting Justice, the Governor gets to pick his/her replacement. I think that's how it goes...

I think they're pretty confident

that the sitting justices will all be retained in their non-election election. This is a slap in the face to democracy.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Or something...

Hell, this might just be intended for one Republican Justice, and then repeal the law right after. Who knows anymore with these jackasses.

The Republicans

paid very good money to purchase the NC Supreme Court and they are looking for ways to continue their ownership while minimizing their costs. This way they can virtually automatically keep their majority stake ownership with almost no investment. That means the $2M they spend last time around can go into something else -- say, purchasing some more school boards and county commissions.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

That'll be up to a court to decide

No pun intended.

It's a great question, but the fact that there even needs to be a question is a clear indication that something fishy is going on. One they start monkeying with the mechanics of voting ... especially when those mechanics tend to obscure not clarity, well, all bets are off at that point.

Same with their extreme gerrymandering and district shifting and voter ID. Their goal is to make it as confusing as possible for people to know where to vote, when to vote, how to vote.

Maddening.

Unfuckingbelievable

How the hell was this not news before?



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

More bullshit

from the nitwits in the GA. They are ruining North Carolina.

PaulM

Judicial bill goes to McC

According to Under the Dome, the bill has been sent to the governor for signature.

If the bill becomes law, judicial retention elections would begin next year – meaning voters would cast a ballot for or against the incumbent justice instead of choosing between candidates.

If the justice gets a favorable vote, he or she would then serve an eight-year term. If not, the governor would appoint someone to fill the vacancy, and that appointee would run for election two years later.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article23...

What a bunch of crap

Guess I'll have to run for judge just so I can challenge this happy horseshit in court

Doesn't this violate the NC constitution?

Sec. 16. Terms of office and election of Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeals, and Judges of the Superior Court.
Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeals, and regular Judges of the Superior Court shall be elected by the qualified voters and shall hold office for terms of eight years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State. Regular Judges of the Superior Court may be elected by the qualified voters of the State or by the voters of their respective districts, as the General Assembly may prescribe.

Section 18 goes on to describe how judges can be removed for physical or mental incapacity - I don't see a damn thing there about a "down vote" being used to remove a judge.

First,

the NC GOP has proven many times that they don't give a shit about the NC or US Constitution.

Second, I'm sure they've secured several lawyers who will testify that this "up or down vote" constitutes an election. It's a fad of sorts in some parts of the US. It's disgusting and un-democratic and it's not an election, but I'm sure they will say it is.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Fad

is exactly what it is. Sooner or later, they go by the way of the trash bin.