Outside the Box


POST-ELECTION BUZZ: GOP leadership wants 2 more state Supreme Court justices

Posted November 10, 2016

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan, left, faces Supreme Court Associate Justice Bob Edmunds in the November general election.

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.


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  • Nicolle Leney Nov 15, 2016
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    McCrory will appoint the new ones and they serve until the next time they are up for election. McCrory appointing one would normally be used for situations where a justice retired, etc part way through the term. This would basically be McCrory (technically legally) bypassing our right to vote for our justices.

    I'm REALLY hoping this is just all talk, and the General Assembly and McCrory have more respect for voters of NC and just overall basic decency to not do this.

  • Catherine Edwards Nov 15, 2016
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    How can they appoint new justices when we elect them?

  • Nicolle Leney Nov 14, 2016
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    Now we know why McCrory wanted to wait.

  • Nicolle Leney Nov 12, 2016
    user avatar

    This is beyond disturbing if they try this.

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