Updated maps: Where judges land in judicial redistricting bill to be considered by Senate
Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and center during the past year than the future of the state judiciary.
The battle was first joined during a series of special legislative sessions that were called after the 2016 election and has continued to the present day.
In September, during yet another special session and in anticipation of its consideration by the House Select Committee on Judicial Redistricting, NC Policy Watch prepared and analyzed the effects of a proposed judicial redistricting bill (House Bill 717) and the new maps it would have enacted.
Since that time, however, the House has passed a new version of HB 717 containing different maps that the Senate is expected to consider in January. Indeed, some Senators have already considered the maps in the latest version of HB 717 without access to full information about which judges and counties would be affected by the redrawing of judicial and prosecutorial districts.
Since new shapefiles were released, Policy Watch has recreated the newest maps with updated information about current sitting judges – this includes “double-bunkings” in which incumbent judges would be forced to run against each other in an election.
All of the information contained in the maps is public – judges and district attorneys must be registered to vote through the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to run for office.
Since the new maps were passed by the House in HB 717, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has appointed a Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and directed it to “consider all options” on how North Carolina selects its judges, including “the House’s judicial redistricting bill, merit selection models, retention elections, and, if we maintain a system of elections, their frequency and partisan structure.”
In order to assure that senators (and the public at-large) have access to full and complete information as the consideration of the latest proposal moves forward, the team at Policy Watch has used publicly available data from the Administrative Office of the Courts to generate several statistics regarding the impact of those new maps on the judiciary. Here are some of the key findings:
25% of all current district court judges are double-bunked in the new proposed map.
43% of all Black or African-American district court judges are double-bunked. This includes 44% of Black or African-American females and 39% of Black or African-American males. Currently, 20% of district court judges are Black or African-American (13% are Black or African-American females and 7% are Black or African-American males).
31% of female district court judges are double-bunked.
100% of Hispanic female judges are double-bunked (there is only one).
27% of all current superior court judges are double-bunked in the new proposed map.
18% of all Black or African-American superior court judges are double-bunked. This includes 25% of Black or African-American females and 11% of Black or African-American males. Currently, 17% of superior court judges are Black or African-American.
100% of all American Indian or Alaskan Native superior court judges are double-bunked (there is only 1)
32% of female superior court judges are double-bunked[tabgroup] [tab title=”District Court Double Bunkings”][table id=26 /].[/tab] [tab title=”Superior Court Double Bunkings”][table id=27 /][/tab] [/tabgroup] [line_list]
- Use (+) and (-), double click, or mouse controls to zoom in and out of map
- Click and drag to move map
- Hover over marks to display name, affiliation, and other date
- Click (HOME) icon to view full image
- This information is based on the North Carolina voter registration database
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.