North Carolina Courts engage in partisan election when selecting their judges. These include state court judges, appeal court judges, Supreme Court judges, and district court judges. Initially, judges’ selection occurred through nonpartisan elections (Crowell, 2020; Larkin, 2020). The judges’ selection process differs from Georgia’s as they still engage in nonpartisan elections when selecting their judges whether in the Supreme Court, superior courts, court of appeals, and other trial courts (National Center for State Courts, n.d.). However, when a vacancy appears midterm, the state fills those through gubernatorial appointments.
Removal of a Judge from Office
The removal of a judge from office takes three forms in North Carolina. First, an impeachment by House of Representatives where the convicted judge is voted out by a two-thirds majority. Another approach is removal due to physical or mental incapacity. The resolution must be reached by two-thirds of both houses (National Center for State Courts, n.d.). Finally, the Judicial Standards Commission may recommend the removal from office. In this case, complaints about a judge must go through the commission that comprises 13 members. The commission has the mandate to investigate the alleged misconduct and may issue a letter to caution the judge (Crowell, 2015). In addition, it must provide a recommendation to the Supreme Court either to censure, suspend, remove, or reprimand the court. The Supreme Court must review the recommendation and decide whether to take any of the recommended actions.
Judicial Decision Making
Judges cognitively understand the importance of following the rule of law in making judicial decisions. In this regard, they use their qualifications and knowledge to review the facts and creditability of the circumstances and credibility of witnesses before applying the rule of law and reaching a final decision. Besides, they have to ignore their personal predispositions when making the ruling. In this case, they understand the implications of making wrong rulings on their reputations and that it might call for a disciplinary action.