October 24, 2012
This November, North Carolinians will have the opportunity to select one person to serve an eight year term as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Justice Paul Newby, the incumbent, is being challenged by Judge Sam Ervin IV, who currently serves on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Although North Carolina’s judicial elections are nonpartisan (i.e., no political affiliation is listed for the candidates on the ballots), local news reports describe Justice Newby as a Republican and Judge Ervin as a Democrat. It is widely believed that the North Carolina Supreme Court is narrowly divided along ideological lines, with conservative justices holding a 4-3 majority that includes Justice Newby. Thus, the outcome of the upcoming election could alter the ideological balance of the Court.