Supreme Court to hear Delaware courts political balance case

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to resolve a dispute over Delaware’s requirement of a political balance among state court judges. Delaware says the outcome could affect the makeup of regulatory commissions in many states.

The justices will hear an appeal from Delaware Gov. John Carney of a lower court ruling that struck down a provision of Delaware’s constitution. It requires the governor to split judicial nominations between the two major political parties.

The case began when a former Democrat who is now registered as an unaffiliated voter sued because he wanted to apply for a judgeship but didn’t meet the political affiliation requirement.

No other state appears to use Delaware’s system of choosing judges. But the state says 16 states require partisan balance on judicial nominating commissions and many states have similar requirements for regulatory bodies.

Arguments probably will take place in the spring.

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