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NCGA Republicans admit special session is to try to fix Supreme Court race

The Republican-led NCGA returned Tuesday for a last-minute special session where they acknowledged that they are attempting to change election rules in order to keep a a specific candidate off the ballot. 

Republican efforts to crowd the field for Democrats in the 2018 Supreme Court race (after they eliminated primaries) backfired when Republican Chris Anglin filed on the last day. Following Democrat Mike Morgan’s 2016 election to the NC Supreme Court, Republicans solidified their attempts at meddling in judicial elections, especially the Supreme Court.

Since December of 2016, Republicans have made moves to grab judicial power and have altered the way North Carolinians elect their judges. Let’s take a look back on the efforts they’ve made to alter the system that elects the judges that keep ruling against Republicans’ unconstitutional laws.

June 2018: Republicans tried to recruit Democrats to run for the NC Supreme Court to crowd the field after they eliminated 2018 primaries.

June 2018: During Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on S814, Sen. Paul Newtown admitted the judicial vacancy amendment is a first step towards a judicial selection process. (Real Facts NC Video, 6/22/18; AP, 6/27/18)

October 2017: Sen. Phil Berger “signaled” in October 2017 he favored ending judicial elections and giving the general assembly the power to appoint judges. (New York Times, 10/18/17)

October 2017: Republicans eliminated primaries in judicial elections for 2018 only. (S656, veto overridden, 10/17/17)

April 2017: Republicans eliminated seats on the NC Court of Appeals. (239 veto overridden, 4/26/17)

March 2017: Republicans made Superior and District Court judicial races partisan. (H100, veto overridden,3/23/17)

December 2016: Then-Governor Pat McCrory confirmed the legislature planned to “pack” the NC Supreme Court by claiming he worked to “deter efforts to expand” the court. (Winston Salem Journal, 11/11/16; WRAL, 11/10/16)

December 2016: Republicans made Supreme Court and Court of Appeals races partisan (S4, signed by Gov. McCrory, 12/16/16)

Republicans in North Carolina have been “stung” by court rulings, and so aim to change the judges by manipulating the election process. Rep. Tim Moore and Sen. Berger have gone as far as threatening judges over rulings against unconstitutional laws passed by the NCGA, saying “their decision to legislate from the bench will have profound consequences.”

Hear Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Moore, Randolph) accuse Anglin of running unfairly "although the rules at the time allowed it." He goes on to admit they are "bad rules" that "we're going to fix... we should have fixed a long time ago."