On March 11, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) appointed North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Mark Davis as an associate justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Davis will succeed Justice Cheri Beasley, who was previously elevated to the position of chief justice. Davis will assume office on April 8, 2019. Davis must run for election in 2020 to remain an associate justice.
The associate justice position was vacant following Chief Justice Mark Martin’s retirement on February 28 and Beasley’s elevation as chief justice. In the event a supreme court justice retires midterm, he or she is replaced via gubernatorial appointment. Otherwise, selection of North Carolina Supreme Court justices primarily occurs through partisan elections. Supreme court justices serve eight-year terms.
Davis was appointed to the state court of appeals by Gov. Bev Perdue (D) on December 31, 2012. He was elected to serve a full term on the court in 2014. Before his judicial career, Davis was general counsel for Gov. Perdue from 2011 to 2012 and was a special deputy attorney general for the state Department of Justice from 2006 to 2011.
Davis received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He received a master of laws (LL.M.) degree in judicial studies from Duke University School of Law in 2018.
At the time of Davis’ appointment, the seven-member court included the following members:
–Cheri Beasley – Initially appointed by Gov. Beverly Perdue (D)
–Anita Earls – Elected in 2018 (D)
–Sam Ervin – Elected in 2014
–Robin Hudson – Elected in 2006
–Michael Morgan – Elected in 2016
–Paul Martin Newby – Elected in 2004
Although the justices elected between 2004 and 2016 were elected in nonpartisan elections, Justice Newby is known as the sole Republican on the court.