Allow Legislators to Choose Their Own Judges

Ballot Language

Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend at least two nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto; and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.



What it Does

Takes away the Governor’s ability to appoint judges for vacancies and gives it to the legislature.

The actual description of this bill is the opposite of what it actually does. It claims to implement a nonpartisan system free of political influence to appoint judges, but it actually allows the legislators to select any nominee they want to be appointed.

This Amendment would also give the current legislature the power to “pack” the NC Supreme Court by adding two extra seats and appointing their friends to those seats – thus choosing who reviews cases against their own laws.

For specific details, please read House Bill 3.

Issues with this Amendment

Allows the legislature to control the judicial selection process.
The legislature would develop a “merit commission” to review nominees to ensure they met basic standards. This commission would simply write evaluations on each nominee and submit a report to the legislature, which would pick any two they like. The Governor would have to select one of their two nominees or forfeit his choice.
Strips more power from the Executive Branch and gives it to legislators.
Currently the Governor appoints Justices and judges when there is a vacancy. By taking this power from the Executive Branch to give to the already strong Legislative Branch, the legislature is able to appoint their own judicial nominees who could hear cases against their own redistricting and voter suppression laws.

Developed by StrongerNC, Inc., a 501c4 grassroots organization comprised of North Carolinians who care about the future of our state and the fundamental rules of democracy. We are not affiliated with any party or candidate.