North Carolina Supreme Court issues nine opinions from April 24-30

The North Carolina Supreme Court issued nine opinions from April 24-30. As of April 30, the court issued 17 opinions in 2023 — 27 fewer than this point a year ago. Three of the nine opinions are below:

  • Harper v. Hall, where the court “held that partisan gerrymandering claims present a political question that is nonjusticiable under the North Carolina Constitution, thus overruling the Court’s decision in Harper I and affirming the court of appeals’ decision dismissing all of Plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice.”
  • Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC v. Kiser, where the court “reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing an order of the superior court, holding that the easement’s plain language was clear and unambiguous and that Duke’s actions were encompassed with the easement’s broad grant of authority.”
  • State v. Flow, where the court “held that, within the particular facts and overall context of this criminal case, the trial court did not violate either the United States Constitution or the North Carolina General Statutes by declining to conduct further inquiry into Defendant’s capacity to proceed following his apparent suicide attempt on the morning of the sixth day of trial.”

From April 24-30, state supreme courts issued 172 opinions nationally. The West Virginia Supreme Court issued the most with 36. State supreme courts in 14 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 109 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 63.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. The current chief of the court is Paul Martin Newby. The court issued 145 opinions in 2022 and 167 in 2021. Nationally, state supreme courts issued 7,423 opinions in 2022 and 8,320 in 2021.  The courts have issued 2,201 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 1,224 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 977. North Carolina is a divided government, meaning neither party holds trifecta control.

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