The way Mecklenburg County voters choose judges would change dramatically under a bill that passed the North Carolina Senate Wednesday and appears to be moving quickly through the General Assembly.
The county’s eight Superior Court judges, now elected from three districts, would run in eight under the bill. And the county’s 21 District judges, now elected countywide, also would be elected from those eight districts….
The legislation is the latest in a string of actual and proposed changes to state courts by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Lawmakers have shrunk the state court of appeals, put party labels on judicial races, eliminated public financing for court elections and done away with this year’s judicial primaries. They’ve also talked about appointing rather than electing judges, redrawing districts across the state and shrinking judicial terms — now as long as eight years — to two.
One national analyst said nowhere in America were so many changes coming to courts in such a relatively short time.
Bishop and Tarte point to the disparity in size of Superior Court districts.