In March of this year the NC Legislature decided to make elections for Superior and District Court judges partisan. Now they are trying to further silence your voice into the future by revising judicial districts to guarantee Republican majorities in as many of those as they can.

House Bill 717, “Revising Judicial Districts” has been re-referred to the House Select Committee on Judicial Redistricting. The next hearing is Wednesday, September 27, 2017  at 10 AM in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh.

COMMENTS:
– Committee will hear a presentation on the PCS (Proposed committee substitute) for HB 717
– A Public Comment period, followed by
– Hearing of Amendments offered and a vote on the PCS to HB 717

Proposed committee substitute means they have made changes to the bill – so we don’t know what it looks like right now.

Unless we are heard now, I expect the bill to make it to the floor soon. Regardless of the PCS, it will reflect the need of the current majority party to protect their dominance for decades to come, voices of the people be damned.

If you want to read H717, you can click HERE.

I know it is difficult to stay informed and come to NCGA Committee meetings from the western part of the state, but I think it is important for legislators to hear from us. Call, text, email, Tweet to vote “No” to partisan redistricting of Judicial Districts, regardless of its changes.

Here are emails for committee members:

Justin.Burr@ncleg.net, John.Blust@ncleg.net, Ted.Davis@ncleg.net, Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net, Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net, William.Brisson@ncleg.net, Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net, Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net, Ken.Goodman@ncleg.net, Destin.Hall@ncleg.net, Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net, Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net, Julia.Howard@ncleg.net, Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net, “Rep. Joe John” <Joe.John@ncleg.net>, Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net, David.Lewis@ncleg.net, Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net, Marcia.Morey@ncleg.net, Bobbie.Richardson@ncleg.net, David.Rogers@ncleg.net, Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net, John.Torbett@ncleg.net, Michael.Wray@ncleg.net, Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net

Additional Resources:

Recent Legislative Threats to NC Judicial Independence  A detailed list of 15 bills from Rep Joe John

Public Education Handouts from the National Assoc. Of Women Judges:

Courts Are Not For Sale – Campaign Cash Undermines Confidence

Politics and Special Interests

Defending Justice – Protecting Citizens

The Rule of Law Provides Fairness and Certainty Businesses Rely On

How to Judge a Judicial Candidate

Palm Card Handout

Judicial BINGO Game

Also from the NAWJ: “This handbook is designed to assist volunteer educators in communicating with the public and press about the importance of protecting our courts from special interest pressures and the critical role informed voters play in this process”:

The Informed Voters Project – A Messaging Guide

…North Carolina is leading the country in what has become a nationwide attempt to dismantle the last line of defense against state lawmakers’ often unconstitutional and unconscionable laws.” NC Policy Watch 5/17/17

The Brennan Center for Justice – Fair Courts

NC Voters for Clean Elections