RALEIGH, N.C. -- A bill waiting for Governor Pat McCrory's signature is gaining a lot of opposition from lawmakers and the North Carolina Bar Association.
The bill, originally drafted to address DNA testing and inheritance by illegitimate children, was gutted and turned into one about judicial discipline.
Read the entire bill and find out how lawmakers voted here.
Critics say changes to the bill protects judges from public punishment and scrutiny. Currently, complaints by North Carolina residents about judges go through a series of steps in the Judicial Standards Commission.
Step One: The complaint is reviewed and then investigated - if deemed to be legitimate. If an investigation finds a judge guilty, the commission then decides on punishment. Sometimes that includes a public reprimand.
Step Two: The judge in question is then notified and if he/she accepts the public reprimand, the records become public.
Step Three: If he/she appeals, formal charges are filed and records become public.
House Bill 652 takes away the commission's ability to hand out a public reprimand and leaves the option to privately discipline the offending judge.
Another change - if formal charges are filed, the records - including the hearing - would remain confidential until - and if - the Supreme Court decides to discipline the judge.
Critics also take issue with a new change which would allow the North Carolina Supreme Court to decide cases against Supreme Court justices.
The North Carolina Bar Association has asked the governor to veto the bill.
"After extensive discussion and review of House Bill 652, we have asked Gov. McCrory to veto this legislation," said NCBA President Alan Duncan. "We feel, as an organization, it is important to stand up for transparency, on behalf of the profession, and more importantly on behalf the citizens of North Carolina."
Last year, according to the Judicial Standards Commission, there were a little more than 300 complaints filed against judges -- and only two were reprimanded publicly.
Supporters say that shows not much would change if the governor signs HB 652 into law.
Read the annual report from the NC Judicial Standards Commission here.