Superior and District Court judicial candidates will now be identified on the ballot with an R or D by their name. The Republican-led General Assembly voted to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 100.
The House voted along party lines to override the veto yesterday and the Senate voted today.
Ford Porter, a spokesman for Cooper, released the following statement:
“Injecting partisan politics into our courts is wrong and harmful to our state. Once again, as with HB2, legislative Republicans have created a solution in search of a problem to advance a divisive political agenda that won’t create good jobs, improve our schools, or put more money in the pockets of middle class families. Governor Cooper will continue to fight for better priorities.”
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger posted a picture of the Senate’s override on his website.
“For years, Gov. Cooper and his allies have stoked fears of voter disenfranchisement – yet when he had the opportunity to actually increase voter involvement, he rejected a measure that the data suggests would do just that. I’m pleased the General Assembly corrected the governor’s misstep and this bill is now law.”
Republican proponents of the bill have argued that voters have a right to know the political ideology of a judge. Democrat opponents have argued that judges should remain untouched by partisan elections to keep the judicial branch independent.
North Carolina joins only seven other states in the nation that have partisan judicial elections.