Analysis: Legislatures Tried Hard To Politicize Courts In 2018

Analysis: Legislatures Tried Hard To Politicize Courts In 2018

6:00am Jan 03, 2019
Members of the North Carolina House gather for a special session at the General Assembly in Raleigh in July 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A recent analysis by a left-leaning public policy group found that 2018 was a big year for partisan attacks on state courts, and North Carolina is front-and-center in the discussion.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, 18 states collectively considered 60 bills that would in some way make state courts more political, including in the Tar Heel State.

In its report, the center recounts the North Carolina General Assembly’s efforts to redraw district and superior court lines, limit the efforts of nonpartisan judicial nominating commissions, and reduce the resources of the judiciary.

According to the Brennan analysis, all of these efforts would further politicize the North Carolina court system, which many advocates say should be apolitical.

But North Carolina is far from alone here.

According to the study, high profile cases in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida and elsewhere made 2018 a particularly robust year for elected officials trying to pull courts a little closer to politics.

Support your
public radio station