Why Courts Matter….
Judicial Races may be at the end of the ballot but they are as important as the races at the top. A series of recent court rulings are exemplary: the decision overturning the Judicial Retention Election Law, the 4th circuit decision overturning the voter ID law, the decisions on gerrymandering by our current state legislature to name a few. Or consider the many court cases in 2017 challenging state and federal policy and laws. And consider Congresses refusal to consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court so that the appointment happened under President Trump. If it weren't vitally important would they do this?
As former NC Policywatch reporter Sharon McCloskey wrote: ‘”Win the courts, Win the war.” A paraphrase of a conservative consultant’s advice about the strategic importance of controlling the courts to “maintain Republican power for 114 years. McCloskey goes on: “The justices like to say that party labels don’t matter when they are deciding cases, and in many instances that’s true. Most opinions handed down by the court are unanimous. But in matters steeped in partisan or philosophical ideology, they align with their like-minded colleagues and opinions issued in recent years reflect that divide. In decisions that split along party lines, the justices have upheld conservative redistricting maps, turned North Carolina’s consumer protection law on its head, weakened Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections and sustained the private school voucher program. (Read the Article)
The 2018 election is critical up and down the ballot but we ignore the judicial races at our peril.
2018 Statewide Judicial Elections
NC Supreme Court – (Jackson seat)
This seat is currently held by Justice Barbara Jackson (R) Attorney Anita Earls (D) is a candidate for this seat.
Anita Earls has worked passionately for 30 years protecting civil rights, fighting for communities, and advocating fair political processes. Earls founded and served as the Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. She also served on the Equal Access to Justice Commission and the North Carolina Board of Elections. She litigated North Carolina’s landmark case against racial gerrymandering in legislative districts, Covington v. N.C., was lead counsel for the League of Women Voters against the partisan gerrymandering of North Carolina’s congressional districts, and led the challenge in state court to uphold the right to vote in North Carolina’s constitution even for people without a photo ID. More at http://earls4justice.com.
NC Court of Appeals (Calabria seat) The seat is currently held by Judge Ann Marie Calabria (R). She is not running for re-election.
Attorney and Orange County Commissioner Mark Dorosin (D) is a candidate for this seat. As a commissioner he has made issues of social justice and community engagement a priority in county policy-making, focusing on poverty, affordable housing, education equity, racial and socio-economic diversity, and broad-based resident participation in county government. With his background and experience as a civil rights lawyer, small business owner, and longtime community activist. A graduate of UNC Law School, Mark has been a civil rights lawyer for over 20 years, and is the Managing Attorney at the UNC Center for Civil Rights. More at Http://markdorosin.org.
NC Court of Appeals (Elmore seat) This seat is currently held by Judge Rick Elmore.
Attorney Allegra Collins is a candidate for the seat. Allegra is an appellate attorney with expertise in appellate law and the North Carolina appellate court system.
Allegra practices regularly before the NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. She founded Allegra Collins Law, a law practice focused on appellate litigation in the NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. From 2011-14 she was Assistant Appellate Reporter at the NC Supreme Court and served as law clerk to the Honorable Linda Stephens on the NC Court of Appeals from 2007-10. More at Https://www.alegracollins.com.
NC Court of Appeals (Arrowood seat) This seat is currently held by Judge John S. Arrowood (D). Judge Arrowood was appointed in 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper and is seeking a full term. He previously served on the Court from 2007 to 2008 after being appointed by Governor Mike Easley. Over the course of his service, Arrowood has authored opinions, concurrences, or dissents in over 100 cases.
Prior to his appointment to the Court he served as a Special Superior Court Judge. Earlier in his career, Arrowood clerked for NC Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Arnold and also served as a staff attorney and head of the Court’s central staff. More at Http://keepjudgarrowood.org