It is a new year, and there are new rules for determining the term of office for a district court judge appointed to fill a vacancy.
First, some background. Judicial vacancies are filled by appointment of the governor. This is a constitutional requirement for appellate and superior court judges, see N.C. Const. Art. IV, § 19, and a statutory requirement for the office of district court judge, see N.C. Const. Art. IV, § 10 (providing that vacancies in the office of district court judge are filled for the unexpired term “in a manner prescribed by law”); G.S. 7A-142 (providing for appointment by the governor).Continue Reading