We were victorious in pushing back attacks on our courts during the N.C. General Assembly’s 2018 special session, but the May 2018 short session promises more proposals to rig our justice 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) 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 in litigation surrounding their extreme agenda, including the possibility of pro-gerrymandering rulings in 2020. Together we have put intense pressure on lawmakers to end these schemes — and it’s working. But we can’t stop now.
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.