Top lawmakers are promoting a bill to replace judicial elections with a plan to have legislative leaders reward their friends with appointments as family and traffic court judges, criminal court judges, and even Supreme Court justices. They’re calling it “merit selection” but it’s really political cronyism. Once legislators have the power to cherry pick our judges, there will be little to stop them from rigging things in their favor. It’s a bold move – and it must be stopped.
There are also bills designed to intimidate current judges so they won’t speak out against the appointment plan – bills to redraw the judges’ districts, disrupt their court duties, and force them out of office at the end of 2018. As a result, the legal community — regardless of party or position — is speaking out against these attacks on our courts.
With a bill (House Bill 717) to severely gerrymander judicial district lines the NC Legislature seeks to undermine the independence of our courts and force North Carolina’s judges to become more partisan. The N.C. House has already approved the bill. The Senate will consider it in 2018. Read up on the dangers of House Bill 717 here.
It’s time to demand your Senators stand up against judicial gerrymandering, oppose House Bill 717, and protect our courts.