North Carolina Supreme Court hears arguments on retention

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's highest court must now decide whether legislators have the authority to create a new kind of election for the state Supreme Court justices or must first change the state Constitution.

Lawyers for the state and three people who challenged a 2015 law creating what's called a "retention election" argued Wednesday before six of the seven justices.

Justice Bob Edmunds isn't participating in the case. Edmunds planned to seek a new term this November on an up-or-down statewide vote with no challenger before a lower court struck down the retention option.

The attorneys debated whether the option is truly an election, in keeping with the Constitution's directive that justices be elected. The attorneys differed on whether it put a new, illegal qualification upon someone who wants to run.

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