Investiture ceremony held for new N.C. Supreme Court Justices

Chief Justice Paul Newby is sworn in during the N.C. Supreme Court investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Photo via NC Judicial Branch

RALEIGH – Chief Justice Paul Newby, Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., and Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer were formally installed at the Supreme Court of North Carolina on Wednesday. The swearing in ceremony was virtually due to COVID-19 precautions.

Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr. is sworn in during the N.C. Supreme Court investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Photo via NC Judicial Branch

Chief Justice Paul Newby became the 30th Chief Justice, and Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., and Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer became the 100th and 101st associate justices, respectively. They were joined by the additional members of the N.C. Supreme Court and proceedings were led by Senior Associate Justice Robin Hudson.

“I am truly honored and humbled to serve the people of North Carolina in this role,” said Chief Justice Paul Newby. “I trust that through God’s grace and with the support of our judicial officials and personnel, I will fulfill the significant constitutional responsibility that has been entrusted to me.”

“I am grateful to the people of North Carolina for the opportunity to serve in capacity,” Berger said.

Associate Justice Tamara Barringer is sworn in during the N.C. Supreme Court investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Photo via NC Judicial Branch

During Newby’s remarks, he said, “access to justice through the courts is not a luxury – it’s a mandate.” The Associated Press reported that Newby asked Gov. Roy Cooper to consider getting COVID-19 vaccines more quickly to local courts to meet the state’s constitutional requirement to open courts.

Emergency directives from previous Chief Justice Cheri Beasley postponing “non-essential, in-person court proceedings” is set to expire on Jan. 14.