Partisan judicial elections likely to return in 2016 (video)

The state House is expected to give final approval Monday to legislation that would make North Carolina’s judicial races partisan in 2016.

Rockingham County Rep. Bert Jones says clearly labeling candidates for the N.C. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court with their party affiliation will increase transparency.

Wake County Rep. Grier Martin told his colleagues the move would be a mistake.

Martin suggested voters could learn more valuable information by going online or researching the judicial candidates in available voter guides:

“I have never had a constituent come to me and say ‘What I want to see is more partisanship in judicial races.'” explained Rep. Martin. “And I’m very concerned if we go back to partisan judicial elections, we’re going to elect more judicial activists, both on the left and from the right.”

Legislators are also considering this session a bill that would make all locally elected school board races partisan.

One more vote in the NC House and HB 8 will move to the Senate. To listen to some of Thursday’s debate, click below:


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    April 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Thank goodness! This deal where you get the stealth whacko progressive democraps in office just because their name is first on the ballot needs to stop.

  2. Pertains!

    April 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Suppose it takes a wacko to recognize one?

  3. Tim Peck

    April 18, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    The truth is that these are elections. Party affiliation matters in elections. A person’s political philosophy matters in electing legislators, local government officials, judges and school board members.

    In each case, the conduct of public affairs is guided by certain principles. In certain mundane affairs, like getting off a school bus, it make little difference. But in the really important things, a person’s political philosophy can determine the moral landscape for a generation. It serves no honest purpose to have those guiding principles suspended in mystery in the crucial moment of exercising voting rights.

    In nonpartisan races, the candidates are often unknown to the voter, leaving them with the choice of marking the ballot based on solely on name recognition, for good or for ill, or of skipping that race altogether and not participating in the moment of truth when it matters most. The only information voters have to go on, in those cases, is affiliation. But that is the one piece of vital information that is missing.

    Indeed, activists go to great lengths to inform voters of this missing information in nonpartisan elections. They scramble to print “cheat sheets” and hand them out of street corners at election time so that voters will be informed. And all because this information is not included on the ballot handed them.

    We can lower the political temperature at no cost by simply informing voters at the point of sale.

    If we accept the writer’s premise, that elections should be less partisan, then we would advocate for nonpartisan elections statewide. And yet we do not.

    The question asked by an unbiased writer should be, why would anyone running for elective office want to conceal their party affiliation from those voting for them? I suspect it is because voters, regardless of their own affiliation, tend to favor the conservative mindset in matters of education and jurisprudence. (Judicial and school board elections are the only nonpartisan elections left to us.)

    We’ve already seen what this concealment has given us in education. Let us now try the fully informed path.

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    April 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Yes Pertains…I do recognize a liberal whacko as I can see you are. Nice contribution to the discourse.
    Tim, great comment. Your last couple of paragraphs nail it spot on. From what I have seen in my years watching elections the “non-partisan” cry comes from those attempting to get stealth progressives into power. This is the only way they can make it to elected office as they are totally lost when it comes to the substance of their ideas.

  5. Alan

    April 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    LSD, please… go get a job, a real job, try making a contribution at something, instead of blogging out of the Civitas/JLF office. Hiding behind the ridiculous “Layinthe smakdown” screen name doesn’t fool anyone, we all know who you represent. Please, enough of acting like the “concerned citizen”.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    April 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I now have a real job! woo hoo That is why I was catching up on the weekend! And the name is not to fool anyone, it is just to let you guys know what you are on the receiving end of.

  7. Alan

    April 20, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    And we are so humbled to have someone of your obvious academic genius here to banter with…

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