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As GOP debates judicial changes, Democrats unlikely to budge

By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republicans are trying to agree on new judicial district lines and whether to propose ending head-to-head judicial elections. But it's unlikely Gov. Roy Cooper and most Democrats will embrace such changes in 2018.

The Senate committee discussing these judicial changes meets Wednesday, a week before a special General Assembly session begins. It's unclear if either topic will be voted on during the session.

Senate leader Phil Berger says he anticipates the legislature will approve new judicial lines sometime soon. Judicial selection changes ultimately would have to be approved in a constitutional referendum.

Cooper suggested in an interview he'll oppose any judicial changes proposed by Republicans at least until they no longer have a veto-proof majority. Democratic support would be key in getting enough voters to back merit selection.

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