- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

Despite massive opposition, Republicans vote to override veto, reduce Court of Appeals

House Republicans voted today to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto and shrink the Court of Appeals despite opposition from just about everyone.

House Bill 239 [1] would also increase the state Supreme Court’s caseload. It will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.

The House override comes two days after Judge Douglas McCullough, a registered Republican, retired early from the Court of Appeals to save the bench from an increased workload after the elimination of his seat at the end of May. He was facing mandatory retirement because of his age.

McCullough said he resigned because he was against HB 239 and he didn’t want his legacy to be the elimination of his seat. For more on his perspective, check NC Policy Watch [2] tomorrow morning.

Cooper appointed Judge John Arrowood, a registered Democrat, to replace McCullough.

Several Democratic House members asked Republicans to vote against overriding Cooper’s veto of HB239. The most emotional plea came from Rep. Graig Meyer [3] (D-Durham, Orange), who spoke about the process of adopting his oldest daughter.

HB239 would take so-called “3.1 appeals” (which involve juveniles and termination of parental rights), business appeals and class action appeals from the Court of Appeals and reroute them to the state Supreme Court.

In 2016, the Court of Appeals heard 201 3.1 appeals, 11 business appeals and 9 class action appeals, according to statistics from the court.

Meyer said that the cases involving juveniles would be delayed if moved to the Supreme Court and talked about the already great delay that exists, and how it affected his daughter.

He said HB 239 would greatly affect the children of North Carolina.

Democratic Leader Darren Jackson [4] also talked about how complicated the cases involving juveniles are and how moving the cases would likely result in delay.

He pointed out how many people, Republicans and Democrats, had told GOP lawmakers that the bill was a bad idea.

House members ultimately voted 73-44 to override the veto. The Senate convenes at 5 p.m. today.