Judicial selection options considered by Senate panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Senators meeting to discuss whether to retool how judges are chosen in North Carolina are now collecting information from some professors and a national judicial reform group.

The Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting holds its second meeting Wednesday, with representatives from the University of North Carolina law school and Brennan Center for Justice making presentations.

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger formed the panel in part to evaluate whether the state should replace head-to-head elections for judgeships with a "merit selection" system. At its first meeting, the panel evaluated a House Republican plan to redraw election districts for trial judges and local prosecutors.

Many GOP legislators want to address judicial redistricting and selection in a special General Assembly session in early January. Democrats are suspicious of both ideas.

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