O’Neill’s Fight to Keep Judge Spurs Resources Debate

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A northeast Nebraska community is keeping its county court judgeship for now, but the fight to do so showed a conflict brewing over whether judicial resources should go to the state’s urban or rural areas.

The state Court Administrator’s office asked the Judicial Resources Commission on Tuesday to postpone a decision about whether to fill an Eighth Judicial District vacancy in O’Neill.

Deputy Court Administrator Jennifer Rasmussen said a six-month delay would give them time to use grant funds to assess how best to serve central Nebraska’s needs.

For over two hours, the commission heard from a stream of people against the idea of losing a judge.

Commissioners voiced support for a statewide study of judicial resources, but voted 10-3 to replace the vacancy.