North Carolina Advocates for Justice, a group of some 3500 private and public sector attorneys and other legal professionals, today asked Gov. Pat McCrory to veto H652, a bill which hands over the public discipline of judges to the state Supreme Court — including the discipline of those justices themselves — and allows most proceedings to take place in secret, unless and until the court decides to act on the discipline of a particular judge.
NCAJ now joins the North Carolina Bar Association and numerous newspapers across the state in asking for the veto, and agrees with the objections by Chief Justice Sarah Parker and Court of Appeals Judge John Martin, who heads the Judicial Standards Commission, voiced before the bill passed in the General Assembly.
In its letter to the Governor, the organization said:
The members of our organization interact all day, every day, all over North
Carolina, with normal citizens of all walks of life who come into contact with our
judicial system. We see their concerns and perceptions about the “good old boy and
girl” nature of the system, in which judges and lawyers are believed to “take care of
their own.” H652 only serves to feed that widespread perception, while making the
proper review of judicial conduct less efficient and more secretive. Accordingly, we
urge you to veto the bill.