Superior Court 15B Candidate Forum Wednesday Night

The Orange County Young Democrats will hold a forum with all four candidates for Superior Court on Wednesday, Oct 11th at 7pm in Room 4085 of the UNC School of Law.

Directions to the Law School are available at Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the law school after 5pm and additional parking is also available in the School of Government lot.



Matt, what level of public participation?


Any and everyone is invited to come watch and talk with the candidates afterwards. There is a short section for questions from the audience within the actual forum I believe as well.

Hope everyone can make it.

FYI. I've uploaded a number of videos of the forum to my website.

This was the first time I've tried covering a function like a forum.
I went through 3 sets of batteries and two memory cards - some answers are clipped and the last two from Anderson and Fox are missing.

The audio is fairly decent. The video has some "movement" in it as I try to adjust for bobbing candidates, Mr. Mystery Head and Ms. Water Bottle.

The debate regarding election v. selection is an interesting one. The annoying thing to me is that so many judges retire in the middle of their terms in order to allow the Governor to appoint their replacements. I stand to be corrected about this, but as I recall the last three (at least) District Court Judges in the Orange/Chatham district were all originally appointed by the Governor rather than being elected. The last three Superior Court Judges were appointed as well if I recall correctly. This scenario typically plays itself out at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court as well. Why do sitting judges seem to so distrust the public's ability to select their own judges?

And now the Governor is preparing to appoint a new District Court Judge in this district because the Legislature created a new judgeship here. But did the legislature think that the people of District 15B could be entrusted with the responsibility of electing that judge? No, they gave that power to the governor. And so we will wind up with another local judge who has been hand picked by the Governor. I'm sure Governor Easley will do a perfectly good job of picking someone, but why should he get to do so, in a state that supposedly has elected judges?

Whoops! Forgot to mention that I spoke with all four candidates after yesterday's forum about this challenge. I believe we won't be disappointed by their response.

Hey guys, your both welcome. Fred, it's interesting what all four candidates have said on the selection/election.

Judge Fox said it pretty darn well (here [2:28->]) when he says that he's OK with the voters choosing a justice because the alternative is a untenable concentration of power - "and if you don't think they'll be politics in the appointment of judges just look at the next time a Supreme Court justice" is appointed. He ends with the example of the modern US Senate.

I haven't heard anything to disabuse me of wanting to vote for a judge - but the fine tuning Baddour, Anderson (who's obviously thought long-and-hard on this) and Stein (who comes at it from the other-side of the bench) is all worth considering.

Last forum Judge Anderson handed me a brochure on the American Judicature Society - a non-partisan group working on this and other issues. One of the most interesting aspects of their research involves the role of money in these elections and how it shapes the electorates perception of justice served.

I'm doing a post on money and campaigns over at CitizenWill to coincide with a public call for both the Superior Court and BOCC candidates to voluntarily release their campaign's current financial status - contributions to some level of detail and expenditures to date - by Oct. 24th.

This date, two weeks prior to the election, 3 days after the July 1st-Oct. 21st reporting period ends, will give the electorate a better understanding of what role money might or might not have played in this election.

Thanks Will, glad you did this.

Is there any popular support for not electing judges and developing a selection system? The money and the time issues seem like things that would have traction.

Will, many thanks for the annotated video. I doubt that George deliberately blocked your shot, but he sure did get in the way.

The questions were good. All four of them could have done a better job with judicial temperament, I thought, and Baddour nailed the Stein question hands-down.

Taking Brian's advice I brought a tripod to Oct. 16th's second Superior Court District 15B forum.

I setup on the right-side of the Council chambers because of the easy access to power. The onlookers and moderator were well out of the way - everything was perfect until... dancing Doyle the moderator moved into the frame.

By that point I was pretty much stuck.

That said, I think this batch is better than the first.

Thanks Brian for the advice. Maybe I'll have this down to a science by election day ;-)


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