Judicial Filings Open In NC As Potential Changes Loom

Judicial Filings Open In NC As Potential Changes Loom

8:35am Jun 18, 2018
SEAN BUETER/WFDD

Monday marks the opening of the filing period for statewide judicial races.

On the November ballot there will be one state Supreme Court seat and three court of appeals seats. Voters across the state will have a chance to pick in those races. Local races across North Carolina will include a total of more than 150 superior and district court judgeships.

Filing ends June 29.

The GOP-led legislature did away with judicial primaries this year. That means the candidate with the most votes will win regardless of how many people are running.

And this year, those races will be partisan for the first time in several years. It’s all part of changes to how judges are elected that have been fought over since last year in Raleigh and in the courts. Some of the proposed changes are still being contested.

On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced his decision to block a measure that adjusts many judicial election districts in Wake, Mecklenburg, Pender and New Hanover counties.

Cooper also wants the old method of nonpartisan judicial races.

In a release announcing his vetoes, Cooper said, "continued election meddling for partisan advantage weakens public confidence. Judges' races should be free of partisan labels."

As for the judicial election redistricting bill, Cooper kept to his longstanding narrative since remapping proposals began surfacing a year ago that the General Assembly is harming justice by trying to "rig the courts by reducing the people's vote."

Republicans are expected to attempt to override the veto this week. The GOP can override vetoes at will as long as their House and Senate caucuses remain united.

Copyright 2018 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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