State News

The Latest: Governor vetoes partisan trial court elections

Posted March 16

— The Latest on a showdown between North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators over judicial elections and appointments (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

North Carolina's new Democratic governor has vetoed legislation by the state's GOP-controlled legislature to make the state's trial court judges appear with party labels on election ballots.

Gov. Roy Cooper says partisan politics has no place in electing judges who people want to be fair and impartial. It's the first proposed law Cooper has vetoed since becoming governor in January.

Cooper also could have to deal soon with bills reducing his ability to shape the state courts through filling vacancies. GOP lawmakers in December already passed a law making appellate court races partisan again.

The flood of judicial legislation comes as Democrats regained a majority on the Supreme Court in November for the first time nearly 20 years.

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12:45 p.m.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is heading toward a potential showdown with the state's GOP-controlled legislature over the composition of the state's judiciary.

A bill making trial court elections officially partisan races again is on Cooper's desk. He has until Saturday to veto it or it becomes law. Cooper told reporters last week he had real concerns about the change.

Cooper also could have to deal soon with bills reducing his ability to shape the state courts through filling vacancies. Three such bills passed the House last week. GOP lawmakers in December already passed a law making appellate court races partisan again.

The flood of judicial legislation comes as Democrats regained a majority on the Supreme Court in November for the first time nearly 20 years.

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