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« It's fun to have a primary that counts | Main | Prison nation »

Apr 23, 2008


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Doug Clark

Thanks, Ed. One clarification: The News & Record editorial staff plans to offer endorsements in Guilford County District Court and statewide appellate races for the general election, but not for the primaries.

Ed Cone

Thnx, Doug, I fixed it. Maybe this is an area where blogging could help fill the gap in coverage, much as you did today -- not so much in terms of endorsements, but just basic reporting on who these folks are.


I'd think former Chief Justice Exum would have a lot to say about the last question. I know as Justice, he was heavily criticized for decisions in death penalty cases, even when those decisions were by a unanimous court. See at page 34. I'm in favor of more substantive information, but if impartiality and politics are not compatible in judicial elections, then more coverage won't necessarily yield better results, depending on whether voters take the advice of the paper or vote based on values, toughness on crime, etc. See


Endorsements should be based on as much research as possible in addition to personal interviews with candidates.

But if they're going to do that, newspapers serve their readers better if they can steer interested voters to other sources of information.

I tried to do that today, using my blog to provide links and further info. But I'm probably not going to have time to do the same for the other Court of Appeals primary, which has four candidates.

I agree with Ed that this effort in judicial races would be more valuable than time spent by editorialists to comment on the high-profile political races. I guess we're afraid that readers wouldn't respond.

Would they? I usually get more feedback on my blog when I write something superficial about the presidential race than when I go more in depth about judicial candidates.


I'm starting with a process of elimination. If I see a judicial candidate's yard signs in public right of way, they are removed from my consideration. Voting for a judge who cannot abide by local ordinances doesn't seem like a good idea. (Yeah, I'm talking to you Cubbage.)


The North Carolina Bar Association is putting together a rating system for the public regarding judges that is based on questionnaires submitted to lawyers across the state. It won't be available before the primary, but it may be ready for November.

This is an idea that is well overdue.

Here is the link.

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