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Silent Voices, Silent Justice protest held in Asheville

Members of NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, Progress NC, the NC NAACP and concerned Asheville residents filled  Pack Square Park on Thursday afternoon to protest proposed changes on how judges are elected in the state.  (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Members of NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, Progress NC, the NC NAACP and concerned Asheville residents filled Pack Square Park on Thursday afternoon to protest proposed changes on how judges are elected in the state.

About 40 people turned out with their mouths taped shut. On the tape was written "Silent Voices, Silent Justice."

Organizers said Republicans in Raleigh are trying to silence voters' say in judicial elections. There are several bills being considered right now. One would eliminate judicial elections all together and have judges appointed by lawmakers or the governor or both. Another topic, SB698 would have judges up for election every two years instead of four or eight.

"I think that it devalues the constitution in North Carolina, and you will more likely see unfair decisions made by the courts," said Rep. Susan C. Fisher, a Democrat..

The protest group is also worried about a bill already passed by the House that changes judicial district lines. Democrats claim Republicans are trying to gerrymander districts to get rid of some long standing incumbents.

State Republican leaders have said the bill would realign districts to better reflect population growth in the state as well as geography and court workloads.



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