Changes Ahead For The North Carolina Court Of Appeals?
Updated: Apr 1, 2019
Tuesday saw two pieces of news that could affect the future composition of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
First, Wake County District Court Judge Jefferson Griffin announced that he would be seeking a seat on the Court of Appeals in 2020. Judge Griffin ran for the seat being vacated by Judge Ann Marie Calabria in 2018, but he lost to Judge Toby Hampson. Judge Griffin's chances of winning were hindered by the presence of a second Republican candidate on the ballot. Judge Hampson, a Democrat, secured 48.79% of the vote, while Judge Griffin and his fellow Republican garnered 35.72% and 15.50%, respectively. Judge Griffin serves as a JAG officer in the North Carolina Army National Guard and is a former Assistant District Attorney.
Additionally, Matt Leerberg reported over at the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog that legislation has been introduced by leading members of the State Senate to prevent the Court of Appeals from shrinking to 12 members from its current number of 15 judges. Legislation passed in 2017 calls for the elimination of a seat on the Court whenever a member resigns, retires, or otherwise vacates the position prior to the expiration of the judge's term until the number of judges reaches 12.