North Carolina Constitution

In this era rife with internecine conflict in state government, we shouldn’t forget a less publicized line in the sand.  Our state constitution grants plenary appellate authority to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, ascribing no role to the General Assembly to modify that jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is set forth in Article IV, Section 12(1) of our state constitution:

(1)  Supreme Court. 

Continue Reading

Today, the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a three-judge panel that the Supreme Court justice retention statute is unconstitutional.  With the Supreme Court deadlocked 3 votes for and 3 votes against, the lower court ruling is allowed to stand, though without precedential value.

Justice Edmunds, whose re-election bid is the only race subject to the retention statute, recused himself from the appeal. … Continue Reading

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. … Continue Reading

Sometimes the juiciest info is found in the comments.  In October, I blogged about State v. Biddix—a Court of Appeals’ opinion that appeared to significantly limit the Court of Appeals’ certiorari authority under Appellate Rule 21.  Even though a state statute specifically granted a criminal defendant the right to challenge his guilty plea by writ of certiorari, the Biddix court held that this statutory authority was trumped by Appellate Rule 21, which does not specifically authorize review of guilty pleas by certiorari.… Continue Reading

Continuing a recent trend of tackling more thorny civil cases, the Supreme Court of North Carolina will hear three high-profile civil cases this October.  Notably, two of the three cases are before the Court in its discretion (not by appeal of right).

As part of our ongoing coverage of the Supreme Court, we offer here a preview of the issues confronting the Court in those three cases. … Continue Reading