New laws mean changes for judges, elections

A public campaign financing program meant to limit special interest influence in judicial elections in the state met its death in the legislature during the final hours of the long session.

The bill repeals the public financing law that used certain fees attorneys paid to the bar, $3 checked-off funds on tax forms and state funds that gave judges an opportunity to agree to certain spending thresholds and rules to tap into public campaign funds.
The state was one of the first in the country to pass such legislation that will soon be history.  

The change comes despite pleas by all but one judge on the state’s Court of Appeals.

Other changes targeted at the state’s judicial system include a law that gives the Supreme Court the authority to discipline its own judges rather than six senior judges on the Court of Appeals. That measure also takes the public out of the know when it comes to judicial misconduct.

Currently, hearings before the state’s adjudicatory panel are open to the public. Under the new law they would not be.

Chief Justice Sarah Parker and John Martin, chief judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals and chairman of the Judicial Standards Commission, urged lawmakers not to adopt the new changes on the basis of conflicts in judges having to discipline their peers, no avenue for revealing public exoneration and leaving no public record of the process.

Full Article and Source:
New laws mean changes for judges, elections

2 Responses to “New laws mean changes for judges, elections”

  1. standUp Says:

    Judicial discipline should always be open to the public.

  2. Thelma Says:

    A little unclear, but sounds like a BIG mistake!

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