Are actions by the General Assembly threatening the impartiality of North Carolina’s judicial system?
A coalition of left-leaning nonprofits under the umbrella of a group called Fair Courts NC thinks so and has launched a series of news conferences across the state calling for judicial reform.
While in Greensboro on Thursday, the group highlighted that reform in three areas:
- Restoring judicial elections as nonpartisan or allowing candidates to run as independent by lower-ballot access thresholds.
- Banning judges from partisan political activity — like endorsing and fundraising for other candidates — when they are not on the ballot.
- Establishing clear ethics rules that would ban judges from hearing cases involving friends and family members.
“This is called recusal reform,” said Melissa Price Kromm, the executive director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections. “Right now, judges can just decide whether or not they should hear a case or not.”