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With decision, NC’s judicial races could become expensive brawls

In just under 200 words, the Supreme Court dashed any hopes held by the state of North Carolina and 21 others that corporate spending in local elections, particularly judicial and law enforcement voting, could be reined in.

North Carolina voters are seeing that play out now in the race for a state Supreme Court seat between incumbent Justice Paul M. Newby and Democratic challenger Judge Sam Ervin IV, currently sitting on the Court of Appeals.  As recently reported in the News and Observer, Republican “heavy hitters” have formed a super PAC, the N.C. Judicial Coalition, to back their candidates of choice.

And candidates lacking big money support no longer have public matching funds to fall back on, since the N.C. Board of Elections stopped disbursing funds in December on the heels of Citizens United. U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan later struck down state matching funds provisions as unconstitutional.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, who had joined Montana’s challenge of the Citizens United opinion, declined to comment, said office spokeswoman Noelle Talley.



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