Wednesday, November 07, 2018

This May Be the Greatest Legacy of North Carolina's 2018 Blue Wave

Democrats Swept All State-Wide Judicial Races in North Carolina

Anita Earls Won Her Seat on the NC Supreme Court!
Anita Earls is a legal rock star. She founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and served as its executive director and became a major warrior against voter suppression and the evils of gerrymandering. She was the lead attorney challenging the gerrymandering of the state, the voter ID law, and other voting restrictions. 
“I passionately believe in the importance of the right to vote, and that an independent judiciary is crucial to the balance of powers necessary to maintain democratic government of, by and for the people,” Earls said. “... In these times, I am seeing how those values are under attack, and I admire the determination of ordinary people who take great risks to stand up for their rights.” 
"...Too often this political process feels like a powerful few rigging the system against a powerless many,” Earls said. “In light of recent attacks on the independence of North Carolina’s judiciary, and on the right of all citizens to cast a ballot that is counted equally, it is clear to me that I have to not just talk the talk, but also must have the courage to walk the walk.”
Earls took 49.48% of the vote against incumbent Republican Barbara Jackson's 34.12%, with the other Republican Chris Anglin drawing 16.39% of the vote. 
The NC Supreme Court now has a 6-3 Democratic majority.

 John Arrowood won reelection to the NC Court of Appeals!
Arrowood won reelection yesterday against his Republican opponent with 50.71% of the vote. 
Arrowood is famous in our household because of the way he was appointed to the bench by Governor Roy Cooper. When Cooper was sworn into office in December of 2016, the Republicans in the General Assembly were facing an unappetizing prospect. Three judges on the Court of Appeals — two of which were Republicans — were going to be forced into mandatory retirement during Governor Cooper’s term, meaning he would get to appoint their replacements. 
The troops under GOP legislators Phil Berger and Tim Moore got busy and came up with a new law reducing the Court of Appeals from 15 to 12 seats, meaning that those mandatory retirements would not be replaced at all. Governor Cooper vetoed that bill in April and before the Republicans could override the veto, Republican Judge Doug McCullough, one of the three facing mandatory retirement, retired suddenly and early to allow Cooper to appoint his replacement before the General Assembly could override that veto. Boom! Cooper appointed John Arrowood of Charlotte to the bench. 
So, naturally, the Berger/Moore machine has put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to give themselves appointment powers over all the judiciary. That constitutional amendment was soundly defeated yesterday. 
Arrowood has more than a quarter-century of legal experience behind him as a lawyer in private practice aside from his two stints on the Court of Appeals. He graduated from the UNC law school at Chapel Hill, clerked for NC Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Arnold, and also served as a staff attorney and head of the Court’s central staff. He was vastly more experienced than his Republican opponent.

Tobias (Toby) Hampson won an open seat on the NC Court of Appeals!
Hampson took 48.71% of the vote against two Republicans who divided the rest of the vote between them. 
Hampson is a Moore County boy who was plucked out for advanced studies during high school at the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham in 1994. He went on to earn his law degree in 2002 from Campbell University with multiple honors including a seat on the Law Review. He began his career at the North Carolina Court of Appeals clerking for judges K. Edward Greene, Wanda Bryant, and Bob C. Hunter. He then practiced with Patterson Dilthey in Raleigh focusing on trial and appellate litigation before joining Wyrick, Robbins, Yates & Ponton in Raleigh in 2007, where he now leads the firm’s Appellate Practice group as a full partner. 
Hampson is massively qualified for a seat on the appellate bench. He was named one of the “Top 100 Super Lawyers in North Carolina” (2015, 2017, 2018) by Super Lawyers Magazine. He was a top-rated appellate attorney by North Carolina Super Lawyers — recognized in Appellate Practice (2014-2018) and as a “Rising Star” (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). He is recognized as “Legal Elite” in the area of appellate law (2018) and “Young Guns” (2010, 2012) by Business North Carolina magazine.

Allegra Collins won an open seat on the NC Court of Appeals!
Collins took the seat with 48.50%. The rest of the vote was divided between a Republican and a Libertarian. 
Collins is both a judicial scholar and an athlete with a pedigree of high-level competition. 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 inside-out.

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