Critical NC Supreme Court race flies under public radar

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robert Edmunds

RALEIGH — As the November 8 election inches closer many voters are focusing their attention at the top of the ballot, while one of the most consequential races is a bit further down. This year Justice Bob Edmunds is being challenged by Judge Michael Morgan for the only North Carolina Supreme Court seat up for grabs in the general election. The N.C. Supreme Court rules on critical cases that impact everyday life including schools, land development, utilities and other issues. But the work is often done quietly without the press coverage that legislators get just down the street in Raleigh.”With so much happening in N.C. with controversial legislation and the actions of the governor, this is a very pivitol race in N.C.,” said Morgan. “The role of the court is to make sure, since it is the highest court, that precedent be set for lower courts as to what the law of the land is in N.C.””It’s not the role of the court to affect policy, its our job to be mindful of the separation of powers,” said Justice Edmunds who is running for re-election. “If we are looking to influence policy we should run for the General Assembly.”In the June 7th primary Edmunds claimed 48 percent of NC votes and Morgan got 34 percent. As the top two vote-getters in the non-partisan race they face off in November to win an eight year term on the state’s highest court. In the primary, Edmunds won four out of every five counties, with strong support from rural areas. Morgan won counties in the north east, the Wilmington area, Asheville and Durham.Morgan has served 27 years on the bench and is currently on North Carolina Superior Court’s third division in Wake County. He has endorsements from the N.C. Democratic Party, the N.C. Sierra Club, N.C. Fraternal Order of Police, Advocates for Justice, and the N.C. Association of Educators.Edmunds has served 16 years on the state Supreme Court, formerly served two years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and was also in private practice. He has received endorsements from the N.C. Republican Party, 97 of the state’s county sheriffs, the NC Police Benevolent Society, and the NC State Troopers Association.