Senate panel on judiciary's future considering proposed maps

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A proposal by North Carolina House Republicans to redo election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors is getting a first formal look from the Senate.

A Senate committee created to consider the redrawn lines and other potential judicial election changes meets for the first time Wednesday.

The Republican-controlled panel planned to review the boundaries for Superior and District court seats and for district attorneys that the full House approved last month. At a later meeting, senators are expected to debate whether current head-to-head elections for judgeships should be replaced with a "merit-selection" system, or perhaps be held more frequently.

The General Assembly could act on these ideas when it reconvenes in January. Democrats - including Gov. Roy Cooper - oppose what they consider extreme judicial changes next year.

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