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home : opinion : e-opinion November 18, 2018

10/22/2018 4:19:00 PM
Who Will Select Our District Court Judge

When we voters go to the polls this November, one of the more important Offices for which we will vote is NC District Court Judge District 27B. The Citizens of Lincoln and Cleveland Counties are blessed with two well qualified candidates.

Current District Judge Ali Paksoy Jr. has served honorably as Judge, for this District, for well over the past 13 years (2005-2018). Mr. Micah J. Sanderson, is currently serving as Assistant District Attorney for Lincoln and Cleveland Counties and has 15 years of legal expertise and administrative experiences which support his preparation to serve with distinction in this critical position.

Qualification and experience aside, there is an additional and very special factor that should have a significant bearing on your decision as to how to vote for this demanding office. The term of office for a District Judge is four years. If elected in 2018, the next elected Judge would remain in office until facing re-election in 2022. However, this will NOT be the case if Judge Paksoy is re-elected in 2018. Judge Ali Paksoy, as shown on his Facebook page, was born July 19,1948. Current NC law affecting NC Judges, (7A-4.20) states “No justice or judge of the General Court of Justice may continue in office beyond the last day of the month in which he attains his seventy-second birthday…” 



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If Judge Paksoy is re-elected in November 6, 2018 he will reach the maximum age limit for service as a judge on July 31, 2020. If re-elected in 2018, he will be faced with mandatory retirement after serving well short of the full new term. In this situation, NC law requires that the age-retired judge will be replaced by Democrat Governor Roy Cooper. The Governor would then appoint a replacement for a District Judge, an individual who would serve out the term of the Judge forced into age-related retirement.

Plainly speaking, if Judge Paksoy is re-elected in 2018, he will be forced into retirement in July 2020 when he will be replaced by a Judge appointed by Governor Cooper. The citizens who vote for Judge Paksoy in 2018 will find out that their Judge of choice will be replaced by a Judge selected by a Democrat Governor, not one chosen by Lincoln/Cleveland voters.

When The voters go to the polls on November 6, 2018, and faced with two well qualified candidates, they must decide if they want to vote for an individual who will serve as a full time/four year Judge, or to vote for a temporary occupant of the bench and who will relinquish that bench to Governor Cooper short of a full term. For the voters of Lincoln and Cleveland  Counties the issue comes down to the choice of who you want selecting your next full term District Judge, you the voter or Governor Roy Cooper.

 

Tom Hawk
Lincolnton NC



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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Article comment by: Sandy ELDRIDGE

Mr. Hawk's recent comments about the Governor selecting a replacement for judges who leave office early only proves true IF the Constitutional Amendment to remove that option passes. In other words if that amendment is approved and Judge Paksoy is re-elected, then it will be up to the Legislature to pick his replacement. The Governor may choose among the legislature's nominees, but he cannot veto their final choice.
So we are really faced with two important choices. Amend our State Constitution to take this power away from the Governor? Or elect someone for whom the issue is moot? Or both?




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