Arguments For And Against Partisan Judicial Races

Feb 22, 2017

Democrat Joe John (left) and Republican Jeff Collins (right)
Credit NCGA

The North Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday that would make District and Superior Court races partisan. In other words, judicial candidates would have their party affiliation appear on the ballot.

The vote was unusual, 65 to 51, with Democrats and Republicans voting for and against the measure.

Proponents argue that listing a party affiliation next to a judicial candidate’s name on the ballot provides voters with needed information.

Opponents argue that partisan judicial elections call into question the impartiality of judges – and lead to more activist judges since they may need party help to win elections.

In this segment we hear from two views, one for and one against the measure.

We begin with Democratic Representative Joe John of Raleigh. John is a freshman in the house and this was his first floor speech. 

The arguments for the partisan judicial elections were equally passionate.

Here's Republican Representative Jeff Collins from Rocky Mount.

The bill to make District and Superior Court elections partisan passed the North Carolina House today. It now moves to the senate. Before him, we heard from Democratic Representative Joe John.