Legislative leaders reportedly will attempt to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656 next week.
The so-called “Electoral Freedom Act” eases ballot access requirements for third party candidates, but also seeks to eliminates next year’s primary election for judicial races and district attorneys.
As Melissa Boughton explains in her story today, the move by lawmakers to redraw judicial and prosecutorial districts is drawing concern from national groups:
Anyone who has been following General Assembly news this year should not be surprised. Douglas Keith, counsel with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said the state has been “more effective than most” at getting bills passed in what appears to be a trend across the nation to manipulate state courts for partisan advantage.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. Its staff regularly studies and analyzes judicial changes across the nation, including in North Carolina.
“The courts’ role in our democracy is to protect rights and uphold the rule of law, particularly when it comes to the other political branches,” Keith said. “To do this, judges need to be able to act independently and without fear of retribution from the political branches, and the public needs to have confidence that courts are not just another political actor.”
Rep. Graig Meyer is also voicing criticism about the effort by Republican legislative leaders to manipulate the state court system for political advantage. Meyer tells NC Policy Watch that eliminating the primary, as SB 656 would do, is one of the ‘worst forms of government.’
Meyer appears this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon. Click below for a preview of that radio interview: