“Silent Voices, Silent Justice” protest in Asheville today

Press release from Progress NC Action:

ASHEVILLE — Sen. Terry Van Duyn and Rep. Susan Fisher will join NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, Progress NC, the NC NAACP and concerned Asheville voters in Pack Square Park on Thursday, Dec. 7, for a rally and protest highlighting the partisan attacks on North Carolina’s court system.

The event will feature protesters covering their mouths with tape to illustrate the message of “Silent Voices, Silent Justice” related to a number of proposals that would wreak havoc on judicial independence in North Carolina.

One proposal would eliminate the election of judges altogether, letting legislators cherrypick partisan judges with no oversight from voters. Another proposal would hyper-politicize judicial elections by forcing judges to run for re-election every two years (instead of four or eight), unfairly slashing the terms of duly-elected judges and forcing them to campaign and hold political fundraisers instead of dispensing justice.

WHAT: “Silent Voices, Silent Justice” protest highlighting partisan attacks on NC courts

WHO: NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, Progress NC, NC NAACP, Sen. Terry Van Duyn, Rep. Susan Fisher and concerned Asheville voters

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 7 at 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: Pack Square Park stage (bottom of the park near the Buncombe County Courthouse), 60 Court Plaza in Asheville

Thursday’s event is part of the ongoing Fair Courts NC tour, which has already drawn more than 75 people to the first event in Fayetteville, 175 people to the second event in Greensboro and 50 people to the third event in Greenville.

Here are just a few of the partisan attacks on North Carolina’s court system that will be discussed:

  • 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 the NCGOP’s radical agenda.
    Learn more about the issue and future events at www.FairCourtsNC.com.
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