[This letter was submitted by LWV-Wake member Paula Jennings and published in the N&O.]
News & Observer - January 8, 2018
Having attended the most recent N.C. Senate judicial reform hearing on Jan. 3, I would like to offer my observations:
First, some of the present judicial districts were classified as “unconstitutional.” There are no rulings to verify such a charge. This designation reeks of political posturing and an attempt to create a “crisis” when there is none. Crisis also implies the need for urgent action, but this reform process should not be rushed. The devil is in the details; good, precise work takes time.
Second, independent judicial commissions were discussed. It is necessary to explain how these commissions will be formed. This is important.
Third, there was a comment made by Sen. Ralph Hise in which he characterized public comments as little more than cut-and-paste astroturf emanating from certain organizations. I found this kind of attitude disrespectful to those of us who take the time to be informed, to attend hearings and to offer our concerns and comments. If he is sincere about wanting consensus, I suggest a change in how he refers to citizens who care about our state and its independent judiciary. Otherwise, this committee will get no buy-in from me or other concerned citizens.
Paula Jennings, Cary