NC Supreme Court returns to historic Edenton

Oral arguments open to the public with ticket—
Edenton's Colonial Courthouse

EDENTON – On the historic site’s 250th anniversary, the North Carolina Supreme Court will return to the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse in Edenton, N.C. to hear some of the most important cases in the state. “It’s always great to have the justices in town,” said Roland Vaughan, Mayor of Edenton. The courthouse is just one of the iconic landmarks in the idyllic inner coastal town, and one of only three places the N.C. Supreme Court can hold session. “It is wonderful when they exercise that right and join us here in Edenton,” Vaughan said upon hearing of the court’s return on Tuesday, May 9.The high court has heard cases at the site on special occasions in the past, including during the town of Edenton’s 300th anniversary in October 2004, and most recently in May 2013. And that is because the site has a rich American pedigree. Patriots James Iredell and Samuel Johnston both practiced law in the courthouse in the 1700s. Iredell was later appointed by George Washington to the first U.S. Supreme Court; Johnston served as one of the first two U.S. Senators from North Carolina. In 1819, President James Monroe was welcomed by a 21-gun salute before visiting the courthouse for a reception in his honor. A century later, the American Red Cross headquartered in the courthouse during the flu epidemic. The Chowan County Courthouse was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1970, and is currently managed by the Division of State Historic Sites under the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Two sessions of the court will be open to the public on May 9. Due to limited seating inside the 18th century Georgian colonial building, admission will be by ticket only; free of charge and available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties should call Historic Edenton at (252) 482-2637 for more information. Wray v the City of Greensboro, involving former police chief David Wray seeking to recover employee benefits, and State v Mario Andrette McNeill, seeking to overturn his convictions in the death of a 5-year-old child, will be heard that day. Chief Justice Mark Martin will preside over oral arguments.