Sunday, August 12, 2018

Allegra Collins Will Be On Your Ballot in November

The only state-wide races on the ballot this November = judges for the NC Court of Appeals and the NC Supreme Court. We all get to vote on those contests.

I've written extensively about the strange saga of the Supreme Court race (twisted up by Republican shenanigans in Raleigh) and about Democrat Anita Earls who's very much in that race -- here and here.

But I haven't focused previously on the Court of Appeals, which is one layer down from the Supreme Court and also sharply crucial for fair governance in North Carolina in the age of Berger/Moore and the constitution-wreckers in the General Assembly.

Here's the boilerplate on the Court of Appeals -- has 15 judges who rotate, hearing cases in panels of three. Judges serve eight-year terms and are elected in statewide partisan elections (which didn't use to be partisan until the Republicans under Berger/Moore changed the rules). The court of appeals decides questions of law, not fact, in reviewing cases from the trial courts. The court hears all civil and criminal appeals from the superior and district courts, except for cases in which the death penalty is imposed. Death penalty sentences are appealed directly to the supreme court.

Democrat Allegra Collins, running for the open seat previously occupied by retiring Republican Rick Elmore. Her Republican opponent in November = Chuck Kitchen, and there's also a Libertarian on the ballot, Michael Monaco.

Collins is an athlete with a pedigree of high-level competition. I ain't whistling Dixie. Just listen:
She represented the United States at the Pan American Games in 1999 and 2003 as a member of the United States Women’s Handball Team. She was a "resident-athlete" at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY in preparation for the 2003 Pan American Games. She's played professional team handball in Italy and Germany. She received a full athletic scholarship (tennis) at both UCLA and the College of William and Mary. And she played on the professional tennis circuit, earning a world ranking in doubles.

In addition to her education at UCLA and William and Mary, she attended Campbell Law School in Raleigh for her J.D. She was no slouch at legal research either: While still a student, she received the I. Beverly Lake Constitutional Law Award for outstanding writing in constitutional law. She served an important apprenticeship under Court of Appeals Judge Linda Stephens, 2007-2010, and she's established her own practice specializing in appellate cases. She knows the Court of Appeals, pretty much inside-out.

She's got plenty to recommend her for the job. You can see more on her website.

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