With two North Carolina Supreme Court seats to be on the ballot in November, Appeals Court Justice Lucy Inman recently declared her candidacy for the Democratic primary.
She announced her intention to succeed Judge Robin Hudson, who has served on the court since 2007.
Inman served as a special judge on the Superior Court from 2010 to 2014, before being elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. She also ran for the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2020, but lost to Republican Phil Berger Jr. by just over 70,000 votes.
As a Supreme Court justice, she hopes to continue her service and work on high-stakes cases.
“I also want to make sure that our state’s highest court continues to uphold the rule of law and leave politics to the courthouse steps,” she said.
Inman said her involvement in the justice system began when she was a student at Yale University, where she covered court proceedings for the university’s newspaper, Yale Daily News.
Her courthouse experiences, she said, eventually led her to study at UNC Law School and helped teach her many rules and procedures that she continues to follow today. today.
“It’s really where people meet their government, face to face,” Inman said. “They all come to court, to the public forum there, looking for a just jolt. They all look up to the judge and want to be treated with respect.
After law school, Inman worked for former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice James Exum Jr. before moving to Los Angeles, where she practiced civil litigation.
After returning to Raleigh, Inman was eventually appointed by former Governor Beverly Perdue to serve as a special Superior Court judge, presiding over hearings and jury trials throughout the state.
Inman said the experience showed him the tremendous cultural and ethnic diversity of North Carolina and the need to ensure equality everywhere.
“The challenge for judges is that the law must be the same everywhere,” Inman said. “It doesn’t matter which county you are in, the law should be applied the same.”
Inman described her campaign as a continuation of her judicial service and said she hoped to replace Hudson, her longtime mentor who decided not to run for office in 2022.
Additionally, Inman said her greatest desire is to fight rising partisanship in the justice system, which she says has undermined her ability to represent the people.
Unlike other government positions, Inman said, judges have a direct responsibility to the people of North Carolina, and they are held accountable to the law — rather than to political parties.
With the primary just months away, some organizations — like the NC AFL-CIO, an association of statewide unions — have endorsed Inman’s campaign.
NC AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan said in an email that the group endorsed Inman because of her commitment to justice for all.
“We appreciate Judge Inman’s accessibility and her willingness to hear from people across the state about their issues and concerns,” she said.
However, some other groups are still deliberating over their endorsements.
The NC Association of Defense Attorneys endorsed Inman in the 2020 general election, but executive director Lynette Pitt said in an email that the organization has yet to make a decision for the 2022 election cycle.
“Candidates are reviewed each election cycle and past approvals do not necessarily guarantee future approvals,” she said.
Inman said she ultimately hopes to serve all North Carolina residents and will do her best to enforce the law consistently and fairly.
“I want anyone to be able to kick the tires of judicial decision and test the court’s reasoning, and that transparency should give the public confidence that judges have rendered their decisions honestly and impartially,” he said. she stated. “That’s my goal in every opinion I work on.”
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