Some worry General Assembly special session could expand NC Supreme Court

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — First there was Hurricane Matthew. In North Carolina, 28 people died. Many more lost their homes and their livelihoods.

Then, in western North Carolina, wildfires charred thousands of acres of land. Evacuations were widespread and businesses were forced to close for days or more.

“We are committed to addressing the unmet needs of our citizens still suffering and we must do it now,” said Governor Pat McCrory.

The governor called the General Assembly back for a special session, requesting $200 million to help those after the disasters.

But, some are concerned there could be more to the special session.

An ad from Common Cause North Carolina is urging people to call their representatives.

“Now they’re trying to overturn the will of the voters and adding two new seats to the Supreme Court. Handing Pat McCrory the power to appoint new justices before he leaves office,” the advertisement said.

The election changed the balance of power on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

In January it will have a Democratic majority. If the Republican-controlled General Assembly added two seats – that would be reversed.

Republicans who CBS North Carolina spoke with deny it.

“There is no bill that I have seen thusfar that expands the Supreme Court by the two members,” said House Speaker Tim Moore.

“I’ve heard it more from groups out there who are saying that we’re getting ready to do this than I ever heard from any conversation from the legislature about doing it,” said Republican State Senator Ralph Hise.

The special session starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Before that Democratic state lawmakers will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. in which they plan to ask Republicans to stay on topic during the special session

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