The Latest: Committee leader promises careful review
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a North Carolina Senate committee meeting for the first to consider changes to the state’s judicial election districts (all times local):
Republicans on a new Senate committee examining changes regarding North Carolina’s judicial election districts and the selection of judges say they’re committed to a careful review of all possible options.
The Senate panel met for the first time Wednesday. The Republican-controlled committee is charged with weighing whether to go along with the House’s proposed redrawing of election boundaries for trial court judgeships and districts. But senators also want to look at whether current head-to-head elections for judgeships should be eliminated. The General Assembly reconvenes in early January.
Democrats on the panel say the House’s proposed judicial districts appear politically motivated and designed to help Republicans. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper also said this week he’s urging attorneys and judges to oppose any attempt by the legislature to quickly put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would alter judicial selection.
A proposal by North Carolina House Republicans to redo election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors is getting a first formal look from the Senate.
A Senate committee created to consider the redrawn lines and other potential judicial election changes meets for the first time Wednesday.
The Republican-controlled panel planned to review the boundaries for Superior and District court seats and for district attorneys that the full House approved last month. At a later meeting, senators are expected to debate whether current head-to-head elections for judgeships should be replaced with a “merit-selection” system, or perhaps be held more frequently.
The General Assembly could act on these ideas when it reconvenes in January. Democrats — including Gov. Roy Cooper — oppose what they consider extreme judicial changes next year.