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.Senatt ({l1um6er
.State /iegiølatiûe lÈrrilling
Suleigll 276{11-Zsû8

December 29,2017
VIA E-MAIL
Sen. Terry Van Duyn
Floyd B. McKissick, Jr
Joel D. M. Ford
Jay J. Chaudhuri
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Dear Senators Van Duyn, McKissick, Ford and Chaudhuri:

After we responded to your December 2l letter the same day, you can understand our
disappointment in receiving no response from you in the subsequent eight days about the agenda
for our Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting meeting on January 3. As
you know, we offered to receive all the presenters you proposed to invite (and who would agree
to appear) if you would seek input from the Governor or his General Counsel on judicial
selection and redistricting and offer your own proposal to correct our state's current,
unconstitutional judicial districts. Your silence makes this important task even more difficult.

Of course, you know that prior presenters, including Democrat state constitutional law experts
Michael Crowell and Gerry Cohen, have told the Committee: Since the creation of the unified
court system in response to the 1958 Bell Commission report, there have been 20 or more small-
scale, politicized changes to districts here and there. Until now no update to the structure of
North Carolina's judiciary has occurred, or been proposed, for more than 50 years. The result is
substantial population imbalances and other problems that have led constitutional experts to
testi$ that the current districts, as well as the districts proposed by the state House, are
unconstitutional. Vy'e are adding to the Committee's website, in the record for November 8, a
rough transcription of the colloquy with these witnesses on this point as well as a written
summary recently furnished by Mr. Crowell of his principal presentation.

We thought these facts would spur bipartisan action to find a bipartisan solution to what is
obviously a serious issue facing our state. Unfortunately, your lack of a response is clear
evidence that, rather than engage seriously and constructively on this matter, elected Democrats'
strategy is to stall, delay and throw up unfounded objections to achieving a consensus resolution.

It is probably fair to expect, given that every change made to the current system since the last
overhaul nearly 60 years ago has been made by Democratic legislative majorities for the benef,rt
of your party, that an updated plan that is simply fair might be perceived as more favorable to
Republicans than the existing plan. Given the constitutional issues with the current judicial
districts, that is no reason for you to refuse to participate in the process.

You previously wrote that you oexpect the Chairs of the Committee to hear from different
perspectives and viewpoints' on judicial selection and redistricting. As you know, to date this
Committee has held more than 14 hours of hearings and debate on this topic. Of the
approximately one dozen speakers who have presented to the Committee, each with the
exception of recently retired Democratic Judge Stephens - was part of a group of presenters
Senator Berger and Senate Democratic Leader Blue agreed to in November.

As we have done all along, we will continue to take testimony from stakeholders. To that end,
we intended our December 2l offer both to afford you maximum latitude to decide who you
think the Committee should hear from but also to ensure that Democrats, including the Governor,
accept the responsibility to weigh in meaningfully with serious, proposed solutions, and not just
partisan carping.

In light of the silence that has followed, we have decided to reserve two hours of the four-hour
meeting slot on January 3 for Democratic committee members. We hope to receive your
proposals - as well as the Governor's, if he cares to offer them personally or through his General
Counsel or in writing for the Committee record - to cure the constitutional deficiencies in our
State judiciary and to provide a court system that will best serve the interest ofjustice for North
Carolinians for the next 50 years.

A draft agenda accompanies this letter. V/e look forward to working together to meet our
mutual responsibility to the people of North Carolina.

V/ith best regards,

Sen. Bill Rabon Sen. Warren Daniel Sen. Dan Bishop

cc: Sen. Dan Blue


Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting
Wednesday, JanuarT 3o 2017 r 1:00 PM
Room 643 Legislative Office Building

AGENDA

I. Chairts Welcome and Opening Remarks

il. Democratic Committee Membership: PresentationsÆroposals Regarding


Judicial Redistricting and Alternative Methods of Judicial Selection

III. Committee Discussion of Proposed Judicial Maps

IV. Analysis and Committee Discussion of Judicial Selection Models

V. Adjournment