The NCGA is trying to take away our right to elect judges. If you are like most people the previous sentence is alarming, but you aren’t quiet sure what it means. CJPC is here to help you make sense of this important issue.
What is the law right now related to judicial elections?
- There will be no judicial primaries. This means you will not have an opportunity to narrow down the potentially long list of people who want to be elected as a judge on the November ballot in your jurisdiction.
- Each candidate for judge will also list the party affiliation. This is a recent change in the law. Many fear making our judicial elections partisan can politicize what should be a non political branch of state government.
Is anyone challenging these changes?
- YES! The North Carolina Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit asserting the NCGA violated its free speech and equal protection rights by eliminating judicial primaries. Oral arguments were heard last week and a decision on whether to block the law is pending.
Why should you care about ending judicial primary elections?
- Because the elimination of primaries could result in having lots of names on the ballot. So, a candidate with just 30 percent of the vote could become a judge!
- Another reason to be concerned is because no legislature in the history of this country has ever eliminated primaries in partisan elections.