Lawmakers who return Jan. 10 for a special session will be met by voting rights advocates and members of the public planning to make their voices heard in the fight for fair courts.
Judicial reform has been at the forefront of a power battle that’s been brewing all year. Republican lawmakers have implemented a slew of changes to the state courts and are now considering new ways to select judges, whether it be through judicial redistricting or in the form of a merit selection plan, which would require public approval.
It’s unclear whether any plans for judicial selection reform will materialize but the North Carolina NAACP, North Carolina Voters For Clean Elections, Democracy North Carolina and Progress NC are planning a day of action to bring attention to the issues.
“Top state lawmakers are trying to gain partisan control over the courts and rig the system in their favor,” states the Fair Courts Day of Action Facebook page. “First, they canceled primary elections for judges, and now the politicians are planning to return in January 2018 to cancel judicial elections altogether and simply appoint their political friends to fill the bench and tilt the scales of justice in their favor. It’s outrageous. It’s time to hold them accountable.”
The event will kick off with a press conference in Bicentennial Plaza and be followed by citizen lobbying.