With approval of new North Carolina legislative districts behind them, House Republicans returned Tuesday to Raleigh to advance their efforts to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors. Unlike a federal court’s mandate to approve House and Senate districts before a Sept. 1 deadline, Republicans in the chamber aren’t being forced to perform redistricting on the boundaries for Superior Court and District Court judgeships and for district attorneys. In fact, a judicial expert from the UNC School of Government told representatives at the first meeting of the House judicial redistricting committee that wholesale changes to judicial maps haven’t been completed since the advent of the state’s modern court system in 1955.
Some GOP representatives argue broad changes are needed to create fairer and more uniform maps, eliminating large population inequalities among judicial districts within the same urban counties.
Proposed judicial maps first surfaced in late June but got pulled before legislators took a summer break.
Critics said the proposal by Rep. Justin Burr, a Stanly County Republican, hadn’t received enough scrutiny by outside legal groups and the judges themselves. Burr said Tuesday he’s now traveled across the state for a dozen meetings with local judges, DAs and others to get feedback, and suggested some of their concerns would be addressed in updated boundaries released in the future.
Full Article: NC legislative maps done, GOP eyes judicial districts.