The Republican Party of North Carolina The Republican Party of North Carolina


Ballot Language

“Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend at least two nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto; and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.”

NCGA Voting Record


H.B. 3, Roll Call #14, Passed 72-34: R 72-1; D 0-33; 8/24/18


H.B. 3, Roll Call #6, Passed 32-13: R 33-0; D 1-13; 8/27/18

Talking Points

Would not change the process for regular judicial elections but would end the practice of patronage judicial appointments.

Would empower the people of the state to nominate candidates to fill judicial vacancies.

Would authorize a non-partisan merit commission, appointed by the Chief Justice, the governor and the General Assembly, to evaluate those nominees and rate them based on their professional qualifications and merit.

Under the proposed state constitutional amendment, the nonpartisan selection commission would evaluate each judicial nominee’s qualifications and submit a review of each candidate to the General Assembly.

Would direct the General Assembly to review the qualified nominees submitted by the nonpartisan commission and forward at least two nominees to the governor for consideration.

Would provide that the governor will appoint the nominee he or she considers most qualified to serve a provisional judicial term.

Would require the appointed judge to stand for election following the governor’s appointment in order to continue holding the judicial office.

This new and open process focuses on personal qualifications of each candidate, increases transparency and citizen participation in judicial vacancy appointments.

Additional Resources

American Judicature Society, “Merit Selection: The Best Way To Choose The Best Judges,” AJS, Accessed 9/26/18

“Judicial Selection In The States,” Ballotopedia, Accessed 9/26/18

Rashaan Ayesh, “NC Speaker Says Constitutional Amendment Puts NC In Line With Other States,” The News & Observer's PolitiFactNC, 8/29/18