UNC’s $437,000 Man crosses swords with Jones Street leaders
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Mark Merritt is the general counsel for the UNC system. He makes A LOT of money for being on the government payroll. More than Dan Forest and Roy Cooper combined.
He’s also the president of the North Carolina State Bar. Here he is, as the prez, riling up his ambulance-chasing troops to oppose the General Assembly’s plans to reform the judiciary:
From: N.C. State Bar [mailto:NoReply@ncbar.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:38 PM
Subject: Message from the President Regarding SB 698
NC State Bar Email
Message from the President Regarding SB 698
A bill has been introduced in the Senate that seeks to amend the North Carolina Constitution to provide for two-year terms of office for justices and judges. Today, Chief Justice Mark Martin released the following statement opposing that legislation:
Nowhere in America do voters elect their general jurisdiction judges for two-year terms of office. This is as it should be. Electing judges for two-year terms would force judges to campaign and raise money constantly, and would disrupt the administration of justice.
Judicial terms of office are longer than executive and legislative terms of office because judges have a different function. Judges are accountable, first and foremost, to the federal and state constitutions and to the law. They apply the law uniformly, and equal justice under law is the ultimate goal of any court system.
The people of North Carolina should have a meaningful role in the judicial selection and retention process, just as citizens of states around the country do. But two-year terms are not the answer.
I urge every lawyer to pay attention to this important issue.
With best regards,
Mark W. Merritt
President, North Carolina State Bar
NC State Bar Quarterly Update
5 thoughts on “UNC’s $437,000 Man crosses swords with Jones Street leaders”
No question he’s meddling in what isn’t any of his or any other lawyer’s SPECIFIC business, but about those two year terms, he isn’t altogether wrong that it’s a bad idea. Being a judge is a full time job dealing with more than full caseload dockets and it doesn’t help the State for judges to have to be in constant campaign mode. I personally know a few judges and I’m aware that some of them could be making a lot more money with a lot less uncertainty in private practice. Judicial salaries look really good….to inexperienced kids coming straight out of law school….. not what you want on the bench. Having said that, I can see reducing eight year terms down to six or even four years. But two year terms will do more harm than good.
Get rid of both Martin and Merritt. They are the problem.
Totally against 2 year terms as it will diminish both the quality of potential judges, cause the loss if some qualified, conservative judges and weaken the system why do you think SCOTUS and other Federal Judges are lifetime appointments…2 year terms a very bad idea. Do you get the point that I don’t like this idea? The proponent should look to the problems in Chaple Hill and the rest of the system instead of meddling with our court system.
No to 2 year Terms for Judges. Judges need to devote lots of time to performing the Duties as Judges!
Our NCGA doesn’t have a good record tinkering with elections and districts.They seem to relish running into the fire, knowing they’ve been burned badly in the very recent past. Maybe we need to limit their term.
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