North Carolina: House budget plan allows Governor to pick Business Court judges for 5 years terms, drops Senate provision on ability of judges to strike laws as unconstitutional

I mentioned the North Carolina Senate’s efforts to use the state’s budget (SB 744) to remake not only the state’s Business Courts but an effort to require all challenges to the constitutionality of statutes enacted by the General Assembly be tried before 3-judge panels. The House leadership has now come out with its proposals that drop several of these provisions and add others.

Three judge panels (previously discussed here)- Dropped from the House budget plan.

Automatic stays where trial judges rule item unconstitutional- Dropped from the House budget plan.

Business Court Judges (previously discussed here)- Under current law

The Chief Justice may exercise the authority under rules of practice prescribed pursuant to G.S. 7A-34 to designate one or more of the special superior court judges authorized by G.S. 7A-45.1 to hear and decide complex business cases as prescribed by the rules of practice.

The House wants the Governor to select Business Court judges instead using language similar to HB 1078.

The Governor, in consultation with the Chief Justice, shall appoint up to five special superior court judges to hear and decide complex business cases as prescribed by special superior court judges as initially provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of this section to hear and decide complex business cases as prescribed by the rules of practice.

The designated special superior court judges would serve for five years.

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