Newly elected North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby wasted no time in taking office.
Newby was sworn into office shortly after midnight on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.
Newby, a Republican, won by a razor thin margin of 406 votes in the statewide race and defeated sitting NC Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, who is a Democrat and was appointed to that position by Gov. Roy Cooper.
Beasley challenged the results of the election and called for two statewide recounts, but they didn’t change the outcome of the election.
With Newby’s win, Republicans won all the statewide judicial races and cut the Democrats majority on the NC Supreme Court from 6-1 to 4-3.
In the past couple of days, Beasley has made a rash of appointments and orders. On Dec. 29, Beasley appointed Judge Donna Stroud to serve as chief judge of the NC Court of Appeals. She appointed Judge Jimmy Love as the chief District Court judge for Johnston, Lee and Harnett counties. Beasley appointed Toni King as chief District Court judge for Cumberland County and she appointed Judge Roy Wijewickrama to serve as chief District Court judge for Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.
Beasley also appointed NC Court of Appeals Judge Chris Dillon to serve as chair of the Judicial Standards Commission.
On Dec. 30, Beasley’s next to the last day in office, she created the Chief Justice’s Commission on Fairness and Equity and appointed Associate NC Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan and NC Court of Appeals Judge Valerie Zachary to be co-chairs.
On Dec. 31, her last day in office, Beasley ordered the extension of time in bail bond forfeiture proceedings and extended the stay in certain pending forfeiture proceedings to Jan. 31, 2021.
With all the activity by Beasley in her last days in office it is no wonder that Newby was sworn into office at the first moment he could legally do so.
But of course our courts aren’t partisan or anything like that. We need to overhaul the election rules for judges so their is more information on how a judge has performed in office.
Not going to happen …