Mark your calendars: Justice Edmunds, Associate Justice on our Supreme Court, will face a primary challenge after all–on June 7.
Last June, the governor signed a bill that allows sitting Supreme Court Justices to participate in a retention election in lieu of a contested election. An attorney filed suit in November, arguing that the retention election law is unconstitutional. The case was heard before a three-judge panel in Wake County because it posed a facial challenge to the retention election law. That three-judge panel ruled in February that the law is, indeed, unconstitutional.
Thereafter, the State Board of Elections opened a candidate filing period for the seat. Four candidates have filed for the seat: (1) Associate Justice Robert H. “Bob” Edmunds, incumbent; (2) Michael R. “Mike” Morgan, sitting Wake County Superior Court Judge; (3) Sabra Jean Faires, a lawyer in private practice and the plaintiff in the suit challenging the retention law; and (4) Daniel Robertson, general counsel for Bank of the Carolinas.
Meanwhile, the State noticed appeal from the ruling of the three-judge panel, and the Supreme Court expedited the appeal. Briefing is ongoing, and the case will be argued before the Supreme Court on April 13, 2016. Justice Edmunds, of course, has recused himself.
It is not clear whether the Supreme Court will rule before the June primary or, even if so, what effect a ruling would have on it. So, get out and vote!