Perdue's executive order revokes her own requirement on picking judges

jfrank@newsobserver.comDecember 5, 2012 

PERDUE10-NE-062612-RTW

Governor Bev Perdue calls for more funding for education in the North Carolina State Budget during a press conference at the State Capital on Tuesday June 26, 2012 in Raleigh, N.C. Perdue said she had met with Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger last week in a effort to increase spending for education. Perdue said she received a letter today saying they would not agree to her proposal.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com

Gov. Bev Perdue signed a new executive order Wednesday that will enable her to fill a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court in the waning days of her term.

The new order, No. 137, essentially rescinds a previous executive order that required an independent nominating commission to recommend candidates for court vacancies. In the document, She blamed time constraints as the reason to circumvent the process she voluntarily created -- and even went so far as to urge future governors to use the commission.

Perdue's new order calls the changes "a temporary modification" that gives her the ability to pick her own candidates for "all judicial vacancies that currently exist or that may arise" before she leaves office in a month.

State Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson announced she would step down in November. Democrats lost a heated battle to defeat Republican Justice Paul Newby in the November elections.

Perdue said she will exercise her constitutional and statutory authority to fill vacancies on her own and plans to consult members of the commission "as I deem appropriate."

Back in April, when she established the nominating commission, Perdue said, "there is no place for politics when it comes to choosing the state’s most honored and influential legal servants.”

Republicans are calling Perdue a hypocrite for reneging on her previous executive order.

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