BYH to the city Public Works department for paying for an expensive public input session on sidewalks and not telling...

Messy judicial elections are a lose-lose for voters

Chris Anglin
1 of 7

Chris Anglin

Trump Country The Racial Divide
Trump Country The Racial Divide-2
Kim Davis Re-Election-2

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chris Anglin is trying to pull a fast one on North Carolina voters.

Anglin, a Raleigh attorney, is a candidate for the N.C. Supreme Court. Until June 7, he also was a registered Democrat. But when Anglin filed as a candidate at the last moment this month, he did so as a Republican. That means there will be two Republicans in the race on the November ballot — Anglin and incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson — a dynamic that could help the Democratic candidate, Anita Earls.

Republicans are crying foul and accusing Anglin of gaming the system. Anglin says he’s standing up “for the independence of the judiciary” — a reference not only to N.C. Republicans doing away last year with primaries in judicial elections, but years of what Anglin calls “assault” on the state and federal courts. To that end, Anglin coyly calls himself a “constitutional Republican.”

Problem is, many voters won’t understand that wink from Anglin, and many more won’t read or hear the back story of his candidacy. They’ll simply think he’s a Republican. Regardless of whether you agree with Anglin’s motivations, his maneuver is predicated on fooling voters. We think that’s wrong.

It’s also a mess that real Republicans invited.

Along with the law that eliminated judicial primary elections, N.C. Republicans changed election rules this year so that candidates could declare affiliation with a party right before filing for office (as Anglin did). Democrats have argued that both moves could confuse voters, lead to election shenanigans and result in candidates winning with only a small portion of the vote. In a federal suit filed late last year, the state Democratic Party also argued that without judicial primaries, the party would lose a way to let voters know its candidate of choice in elections.

N.C. Republicans say they merely want to open up the ballot to more candidates, but they’ve yet to explain what’s wrong with having primaries winnow down the general election choices for voters — or why it’s a good idea to eliminate primaries for judicial elections but not other elections. It’s possible that voter confusion is the goal, as it would allow Republicans to make a case that judges should be appointed by the legislature, something they considered but stopped short of doing this year.

After all, Republicans have been trying for years to make state and federal courts more conservative. They’ve changed this year’s appellate judicial races from non-partisan to partisan. They’ve redrawn the districts in which Superior and District court judges are elected. They adopted a proposal this year to ask voters to amend the state Constitution to allow legislative leaders to control what names the governor has to choose from when filling state court vacancies.

Why all the changes? In part, N.C. Republicans are tired of the courts slapping down their conservative laws that happen to be unconstitutional. So they want to game the courts by changing how the courts are filled. Now they’ve been outgamed by phantom Republican Chris Anglin, and once again North Carolina’s voters will lose.

The Charlotte Observer


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


May 19, 2019

All eyes were on Alabama on Tuesday as the State Senate debated then passed what could become the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Under the legislation, which Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed on Wednesday, women in Alabama would be forced to carry unwanted or nonviable pregnancies to…

Abortion Regulations Lawsuits-4

May 18, 2019

President Trump often cites the stock market as proof of his economic-policy success, so let’s hope he was watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday. The Dow fell 2.38 percent, and the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 fell even more, on the escalating tariff dispute between the U.S. and…

Financial Markets Wall Street

May 13, 2019

It was Nixon who went to China. And now the forces for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina have their own unlikely champion.

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson, a conservative firebrand best known for his controversial views on immigration, has lent his support to a bill, sponsored by Rep.…


May 11, 2019

The Carolina Hurricanes are one playoff series away from the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, and they’re gathering up fans in the Triangle and across North Carolina.

Although this seems like a fun thing, it’s apparently not a great thing. At least according to legendary Canadian hockey…

Hurricanes Capitals Hockey

May 07, 2019

The bidding war for votes in the Democratic presidential primary escalated quickly this week with a proposal by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to wipe out student debt, courtesy of the taxpayers.

Warren’s proposal, put forward not in proposed legislation but in a blog post, would cancel…

Election 2020 Elizabeth Warren-2

May 07, 2019

As last week's massive teacher march and rally in Raleigh approached, lawmakers geared up for a crush of visitors advocating for public education. There were rope lines set up at the entrance of the Legislative Building, and many legislators put up welcoming signs in their offices offering snacks…

Colin Campbell

May 06, 2019

As Hurricane Matthew’s floodwaters receded and we began cleaning up the massive mess, it became apparent that we had some difficult challenges ahead. A changing climate was making hurricanes bigger, slower, wetter. We saw the need to prepare for the kind of flooding we encountered. A lot of…

Tropical Weather North Carolina-2

April 30, 2019

The notion of arming public school teachers has come around again, from some of the usual suspects in the General Assembly.

This idea was floated last year but got nowhere, even when Republicans had super-majorities in both houses of the legislature.

State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson, a…

Student Walkouts Gun Violence Colorado-5

April 29, 2019

While we are sympathetic to their cause, we are disappointed that enough teachers plan to miss school May 1 to attend a rally in Raleigh that several districts are cancelling classes.

We supported a similar tactic by teachers last year because a variety of legitimate needs seemed to be falling on…

Teacher Protests North Carolina

April 27, 2019

Democrats, with good reason, have frequently chided deeply religious American Christians for voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

The president, who is a thrice-married, frequently mean-spirited, largely nonreligious individual, nevertheless has favored legislation important to that segment of voters.…

60 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 6
        Next Page»   Last Page»