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Report: Superior court judge finds out via text of his seat elimination

A senior resident Superior Court judge of 16 years recently found out his seat was eliminated through a text message from a court official in Wake County, according to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Legislators had not and still have not spoken with Judge Anderson Cromer about eliminating his seat in the state budget, which was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. The Senate voted to override the veto last week and the House is expected to take it up today.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports on some of the judicial changes in the budget:

Cromer’s judicial seat in the 17B Judicial District was eliminated in the state budget when state legislators decreased the number of superior court judges in that district from two to one. Cromer’s term expires at the end of this year and he was running for a third term. The other superior court judge is Angela Puckett, whose term expires in 2024.

State legislators also moved Caswell County into the 17A Judicial District, which had previously just included Rockingham County. In the new 17A Judicial District, the number of superior court judges will decrease from three to two, eliminating the judicial seat of Judge W. Osmond Smith. Smith’s term also expires this year. Judicial District 19B will get a second superior court seat, according to the budget.

If the House overrides Cooper’s veto, budget changes would take effect Jan. 1.

The changes were based on a workload formula from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, which also never spoke to Cromer about his seat elimination, according to the report.

Cromer said he was disappointed about not getting any advance notice.

But that seems to be more and more the M.O. of the legislature — the only unsurprising thing lawmakers have done in the past year is propose and pass surprise measures aimed at the manipulating the judiciary for partisan gain.

You can read the article in full here.

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