POST-ELECTION BUZZ: GOP leadership wants 2 more state Supreme Court justices
Posted November 10, 2016
Post-election buzz has erupted that the Republican legislative leaders want to add two more justices to the State Supreme Court to keep the court’s GOP majority. They’re upset that voters replaced Republican Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmonds with Democrat Mike Morgan – which would give the Democrats a 4-3 majority on the high court.
Word is that the leadership would have the General Assembly vote to add the additional justices during a special session to be called sometime in December to deal with Hurricane Matthew relief issues.
Once approved, Gov. Pat McCrory would appoint the new justices before the end of the year. McCrory, a Republican, came up short by 5,000 votes to Democrat Roy Cooper in his re-election bid. He’s refused to concede the election while provisional and absentee ballots are being counted. If there’s no shift in the vote, McCrory will be out of office at the end of the year.
“This is the height of disrespect of state’s voters,” said state Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, who acknowledges he’d also heard about the court packing plan to add the justices and said he takes it seriously. “To add justices just because they don’t like the outcome of the election is outrageous.”
He said it will cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to add the two justices. There has been no significant change, or increase, in the workload of the court over the last 10 years, according to the most recent Statistical and Operation Report of the state appellate courts.