John R. Wester Authors Op-Ed on Judicial ElectionsPDF
Robinson Bradshaw attorney John R. Wester wrote an op-ed, “Why North Carolina citizens shouldn’t vote for state judges,” that was featured in The Charlotte Observer on Nov. 17. Wester argues that the campaigns, attack ads, ballot placements and political party labels associated with judicial elections compromise the independence and integrity of our state court system. He advocates for a change in how these judges are assigned to the bench, suggesting an appointive system similar to that of the federal model.
“Our judges’ duties are different from those in the legislative and executive branches. Judges must bear full allegiance to the rule of law and to our state and federal constitutions – not any political party’s platform or promises made to win votes,” Wester said. “The constant casualty of our judicial campaigns is the threat to judicial independence – the public’s unshakeable confidence in a fair, impartial administration of justice, the bedrock of our democracy.”
Wester’s column is available here.