Republicans uncertain on judge selection, district direction

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina House and Senate members on a new committee have plowed familiar ground about judicial redistricting and whether to get rid of the current head-to-head elections of judges in place for 150 years.

The committee's first meeting Thursday accentuated differences between the political parties - and even among majority Republicans - on if or how to act on proposed judicial election districts and a "merit selection" plan.

House members had many questions about a Senate proposal that would have the governor fill judicial vacancies from a pool of nominees vetted by a special commission and the legislature. The appointee remains on the bench if approved in a retention election.

Committee co-chairmen said they didn't know the length of the committee's work or the outcome. Democrats have wanted more deliberation.

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