We were victorious in pushing back attacks on our courts during the N.C. General Assembly’s 2018 special session, but the 2018 short session promises more proposals to rig the system from political bullies working for their own partisan interests. The current focus is on gerrymandering our judicial voting districts (House Bill 717), slashing judicial terms (Senate Bill 698), take power to fill judicial vacancies from Governor’s office (House Bill 240 and House Bill 241), and seizing the ability to choose judges themselves (legislative appointment under the so-called “purple plan”) — all of which would undermine the independence of our courts and make North Carolina’s judiciary more partisan. Others say “court-packing” is back on the table, a scenario where lawmakers add judges to our N.C. Supreme Court in an effort to get better outcomes.
On top of that, legislative leaders may also resurrect part of North Carolina’s discriminatory 2013 Monster Voting Law. That law was rejected in federal court, but the NCGA could revive voter ID by placing it on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment. That’s right: the same lawmakers who drafted an illegal voter ID law that targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision” now want to permanently add it to our state’s constitution.
As part of their sham process to rig our system for their control, the same lawmakers who are leading attacks on our courts are also planning to push new voting restrictions during the short session. It’s time to tell them to stop all of the schemes against us.
Use all you know to write an op-ed or letter in support of Fair Courts and Fair Votes for your local paper, like these North Carolinians did:
Know a councilperson or commissioner? Help your town, city, or county take a strong stand for fair courts by telling them to pass a resolution similar to those below:
With a bill (House Bill 717) to gerrymander judicial district lines, the N.C. General Assembly seeks to undermine the independence of our courts and force North Carolina’s judges to become more partisan. They have threatened to use the 2018 short session to finally redraw the lines used to elect judges across the state. The main lawmaker pushing that change is Republican Rep. Justin Burr, who recently lost a primary for his seat and won’t be in the legislature beyond this year. Read up on the dangers of House Bill 717 here. It’s time to demand your lawmakers stand up against judicial gerrymandering, oppose House Bill 717, and protect our courts.