The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy North Carolina and Progress NC will co-host a Town Hall Meeting to alert voters to legislative and budgetary actions of the North Carolina Legislature that could impact the independence of our courts. The Town Hall Meeting will be held on Thursday December 14, 2017, 7:00-8:30 PM at the Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill.
Legislative actions have made judicial races partisan and reduced the courts’ resources. Proposals reportedly under consideration change the way we select judges, possibly replacing elections with legislative selection of judges. The legislature has canceled the judicial primary for next spring, the House has adopted a redistricting plan that reduces the number of judges in Durham, puts Orange and Chatham counties into separate judicial districts (likely reducing court-provided services in Chatham), and potentially places African-American and women judges at a disadvantage in the coming election as a result of the judicial redistricting.
Representative Marcia Morey (D-Durham), a former Chief District Judge, will be joined by a panel of North Carolina legal experts including:
- John Wester: A NC litigator at Robinson Bradshaw and former President of the NC Bar Association who has tried landmark cases, served as lead litigator for Hyatt v. Shalala, a 20-year-long case decided by the US Supreme Court, and lead counsel for three governors in McCrory v. Berger, successfully challenging the General Assembly for violating separation of powers under the North Carolina Constitution.
- James Drennan: An Adjunct Professor at the UNC School of Government, previous Director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and expert in the courts, judicial education, and sentencing law who both teaches and advises on court administration issues, judicial ethics and fairness, criminal sentencing, and judicial leadership.
This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available.