Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for "Judges--Selection and appointment"
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In 1996, the Commission for the Future of Justice and the Courts in North Carolina recommended merit selection of judges to replace current elections. Legislation has been introduced in the 1997 General Assembly for the new process.
The process of electing North Carolina’s judges is examined. The history of judicial elections in the state is explored. North Carolina does not hold partisan elections for judges. Many think the system should change as most citizens are uninformed about the candidates. Several changes are proposed, but most believe politicians have no will to change the current system despite its problems.
Legislation for the merit selection of judges has been introduced without success in the General Assembly since 1971. The 1997 General Assembly is considering House Bills 741 and 742, and Senate Bills 834 and 835, to select judges on merit.
After nineteen years on the North Carolina Supreme Court, Chief Justice James G. Exum, Jr. is retiring. Exum will now be a vocal advocate of merit selection, where judges are appointed based on experience rather than elected on campaign merits.
A brief examination of the shortcomings of North Carolina's system of selecting judges is a prerequisite for evaluating alternative methods of selection. Part One of a series of articles thus discusses flaws in the current system.