Tell the North Carolina General Assembly:

I believe our judges should be fair, independent, and removed from political pressure.

I believe our judges should be fair, independent, and removed from political pressure. I strongly urge you to oppose impeaching a judge or justice due to a judicial ruling.


    Legislative leaders are threatening to impeach judges and justices, just because they don’t like their decisions.

    Impeachment would be a gross overreach and a massive threat to judicial independence. 

    We already have two hyperpartisan, political branches of government. We don’t need a third. 

    Judges should follow the law and uphold the constitution.  They shouldn’t be taking instructions from politicians, and they shouldn’t be threatened with removal simply for doing their jobs. 

    Our independent courts are under attack. Help fight back.

    Our judges should be fair, independent, and removed from politics.

    “This isn’t about good judicial policy, it’s about politics.” -Robeson County District Attorney Luther Johnson Britt III
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    Hundreds of people came to the legislature on the Fair Courts Day of Action.

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    A large crowd in Fayetteville demanding fair courts.

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    Charlotte residents brave the record cold to march for fair courts

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    The cold didn't stop these Charlotte voters from shining a light on lawmakers attempts to rig our courts.

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    Charlotte residents marched up to the court house and held a press conference.

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    Greensboro residents demonstrate in freezing temperatures to fight for fair courts in NC.

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    A crowd of over 40 Greensboro area residents stand in the cold to demand fair courts for North Carolina.

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    Rep. Deb Butler sits alone at the Fair Courts Town Hall in Wilmington.

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    State lawmakers that did not sign the pledge and did not show up to the Wilmington Town Hall

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    A crowd in Asheville demonstrated with tape over their mouths to symbolize how lawmakers are trying to silence voters.

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    State Rep. Susan Fischer addresses the crowd in Asheville with grave concerns about NC courts.

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    Participants wrote "Justice Silenced" on tape and put it over their mouths in protest of lawmakers trying take over the courts.

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    State Senator Terry Van Duyn explains how our lawmakers are trying to take over our courts and silence voters

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    Asheville crowd removes the tape and chants for fair courts now.

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    175 Greensboro area residents turned out to the Fair Courts Town Hall on Nov. 30th.

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    Engaged crowd listens intently to what lawmakers have to say.

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    Lawmakers who did not sign the pledge or attend the town hall were given an empty seat.

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    A panel of lawmakers and members of the legal community answer questions and share serious concerns about the future of our courts.

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    Members of the public patiently waited in line for a chance to ask questions of the panel.

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    Citizens ask what they can do to fight the attack on our independent courts.

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    Lawmakers who did not sign the pledge or attend the town hall were given an empty seat.

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    District Court Judge Bill Davis shares his grave concerns for our courts, explaining that judges must be impartial.

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    Many lawmakers were conspicuously absent from the Greensboro town hall.

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    Rep. Pricey Harrison addressed the audience with dire concerns about the independence of our courts.

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    Fayettville residents pack the room to hear a presentation about fair courts.

    Fayettville residents pack the room to hear a presentation about fair courts.

    Fayetteville residents pack the room to hear a presentation about fair courts.

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    Cumberland Co. Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Tally and four other Cumberland Co. judges all sounded the alarm against the eroding of our independent system of courts.

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    Empty chairs are labeled for state lawmakers who do not attend and refuse explain where they stand.

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    Residents take time to ask questions and voice their concerns

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    A personalized seat is reserved for lawmakers who don't sign the Fair Courts Pledge and don't show up to face voters.

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    Participants in the Fair Courts Day of Action hold hundreds of signs as they listen to speakers outside the legislature.

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    Standing room only inside the legislature as Fair Courts Day of Action participants watch the General Assembly come to order.

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    Talking Points

    • They’re hatching a scheme to create a Republican majority on the state supreme court by impeaching Democratic justices.
      • The House would vote to impeach the judges, and the Senate would then refuse to hold a vote on impeachment. (The GOP doesn’t have enough senators to convict.) The judges would be suspended, pending the outcome of the trial.
    • State law only allows the legislature to impeach judges for a crime, “willful neglect of duty,” or malfeasance. 
      • Judges can’t be impeached just for ruling against the legislature.
    • Our legislature has a long history of attacking judges whose rulings they don’t like. This abuse and manipulation of the impeachment power would be an unprecedented power grab.
    • Lawmakers are attacking the separation of powers.
      • The North Carolina Constitution says the three branches of government should be “forever separate,” but the legislature wants to put the judicial branch under its thumb.
      • They’re trying to intimidate judges into ruling for them.
    • Politicians can’t impeach judges just because they don’t like their rulings. That’s now how checks and balances work. 
    • Imagine the chaos if Congress and every state legislature began impeaching judges whose rulings they didn’t like.

    Partisan Attacks On The Court System

     

    HB656

    (Already enacted)
    Canceled primary elections for judges, making general election ballots longer and more confusing. The first step toward canceling judicial elections altogether and letting politicians appoint judges instead of voters.

    HB717

    (Passed by House)
    Gerrymanders the judicial system, just like they did with the unconstitutional legislative maps. Nearly half of all black judges would be packed into a district with another incumbent, forcing them to run against each other or step down.

    SB698

    (Introduced)
    Cuts all judges’ terms to two years, forcing judges to campaign and hold political fundraisers instead of dispensing justice. A judge elected to an eight-year term in 2016 would be forced to run again in 2018 after having their term cut.

    Legislative Appointment

    (Proposed)
    Eliminates judicial elections altogether, letting politicians rig the system by cherry-picking judges who will rule based on political ideology and rubber-stamp their radical agenda.

    What Can I Do?

    Paid for by Fair Courts Now. Not authorized by any political party, candidate, or committee.