Critics complain judicial districts shaped for GOP gain

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Critics of the first extensive realignment in decades of districts where North Carolina trial judges run for election complain it’s shaping up to boost rural and suburban communities which favor Republicans.

About a dozen constituents on Wednesday told a state House committee the exercise smacked of a Republican effort to put more GOP lawyers on the bench. Critics warned the process risks tainting courts with doubts that judges were selected through a process that favors Republican partisans.

Voting districts for local judges avoided wholesale changes for more than 60 years.

GOP representatives argue broad changes are needed now to create fairer and more uniform maps. Democrats said the revamp is designed to shape the courts that check Republican legislative power.

The full House could take up the measure next week.

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