North Carolina

Supreme Court of North Carolina
Election (Partisan)
7 Justices
8 year terms
State High Court Judicial Selection Process Legal Authority

  • If there are more than two candidates for office, a primary election is held, and the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes are placed on the ballot for the general election.
  • The candidate who receives the highest number of votes is elected to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Interim Vacancies

  • All vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, and the appointees shall hold their places until the next election for members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs, when elections shall be held to fill the offices.

    Docket Watch

  • North Carolina Appellate Court Decides when Municipality May Be Held Liable in Public Park Case

    In June 2007, seventeen-year-old Eric Williams died tragically at a public park in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Eric was attending a high school graduation party when he drowned in a “swimming hole” in Fun Junktion Park, which a friend’s parents had rented out from the Pasquotank County Parks and Recreation Department. In the ensuing lawsuit, Williams v. Pasquotank County,1 Eric’s estate sued the county and the department for the young man’s wrongful death, alleging that the “swimming hole” was unsafe.

  • North Carolina Appellate Court Questions the Constitutionality of Campus Police at Universities with Religious Heritages in State v. Yencer

    In late August, as colleges and universities across North Carolina were preparing to welcome back their students, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion that calls into question the constitutionality of campus police forces at any institution of higher learning that is in any way affiliated with a religious institution. In State v. Yencer,1 a unanimous three judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the “the delegation of police power to Davidson College, pursuant to § 74G, is an unconstitutional delegation of ‘an important discretionary governmental power’ to a religious institution in the context of the First Amendment.”2 The opinion reaches beyond its specific facts, calling into question the legitimacy of campus police forces of any college or university that has ever been affiliated with organized religion.

  • Habeas Petitioner Denied Use of Sentence Reduction Credits

    In Jones v. Keller,1 the North Carolina Supreme Court denied a prisoner’s release after the prisoner asserted he had completed his sentence through a combination of time served and sentence reduction credits. The court deferred to the Department of Corrections’ contention that the credits were awarded only for limited purposes.

  • Judicial Election

    Judges are elected by popular vote.
  • Democratic Appointment

    Judges are appointed directly by a democratic body, or appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of some democratic body.