Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Most Important, Least Known Races on Your Ballot Next Tuesday

For the first time in sixteen years a majority of the North Carolina Supreme Court faces election on the same day.  This Tuesday four of the seven seats are up for grabs - a situation brought about by a random combination of retirements, appointments and the regular election cycle.

Conservative judges Barbara Jackson, Robert Edmunds, and Paul Newby are not up for election this cycle. If you want to vote for judges to give them some additional support, then choose:

Mark Martin for Chief Justice and Bob Hunter, Eric Levinson, and Mike Robinson for Associate Justices on election day.

Judgepedia.org has all the details on the races.  It's worth checking out the whole page beyond the below excerpt.

From Judgepedia.org...

North Carolina's judicial elections are technically non-partisan. However, it is a state where the justices' political affiliations are clearly known and political parties may publicly endorse candidates. Currently, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has five Republicans and two Democrats on its bench. In 2014, four seats are up for election, meaning that a majority of the seven-member court is up for grabs.

Three Democratic seats and one Republican seat were initially up for election this year. Two of those seats--the chief justice position and Justice Martin's open seat--were given new, Republican incumbents thanks to appointments by Governor Pat McCrory in August 2014. That resulted in the chief justice position changing from a Democratic incumbent (Sarah Parker, who retired) to a Republican incumbent (Mark Martin, who is running for a full term in 2014). Going into the November elections, two seats are occupied by Republicans and two by Democrats.

A partisan flip is not possible, even though a majority of the court's seats are up for election, because it would require Democrats to win all four seats and there are no Democrats in the race for chief justice.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a chance to monopolize the court if they can oust Justices Cheri Beasley and Robin Hudson. North Carolina is already a Republican-dominated state, where the GOP holds the governorship, a majority in both legislative houses and a majority on the supreme court. This is referred to as a Trifecta Plus by Ballotpedia. A court fully controlled by the Republicans would be favorable to the similarly controlled executive and legislative branches if any of their new laws are challenged in court. More information on state government trifectas is available here: Ballotpedia: State government trifectas.

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