Supreme court candidate makes visit to Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2014

A North Carolina Supreme Court candidate with Rowan County roots on Thursday made a pit stop in Rowan County.
N.C. Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson, whose first job was as an assistant district attorney when Rowan and Cabarrus were in the same district, traveled to Salisbury as a part of his campaign.
In an interview with the Salisbury Post, Levinson said he never expected to become a judge when in law school. He graduated cum laude from the University of George and received a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I have fond memories of my time in Salisbury,” Levinson said. “It’s hard for me to believe it’s been over 20 years since I began my legal career. I was intent on being a career prosecutor. I actually didn’t interview with any private law firms out of school.”
Levinson said he first contemplated becoming a judge after a few years as a prosecutor.
“Advocates are important, but judges are ultimately responsible for the administration of justice,” he said. “I care about North Carolina. I care about the justice system, as imperfect as it is.”
He was elected in 1996 to the N.C. judiciary as a District and Family Court Judge. Seven years later, he was elected as one of 15 members of the NC. Court of Appeals He was the youngest member of the appeals court at the time.
In 2006, he ran, unsuccessfully for a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court.
His career path took a foreign turn when appointed as a justice Attache to Iraq for the U.S. Department of Justice. In the Middle East, Levinson said part of his role was to establish a major crimes court in Iraq.
He returned to the United States in 2009 after being appointed to the N.C. Superior Court.
Now, Levinson is running again for the N.C. Supreme Court. He said the experience dotting his resume is a unique characteristic. He specifically cited his time on North Carolina’s Superior Court as a trait that sets him apart from others. Only one other justice in the current crop of supreme court justices have experience in the superior court.
“I think that my experience matters and its relevant,” Levinson said. “I believe my experience is needed on the bench.”
He said one area the supreme court could improve on is authoring more decisions.
Levinson stressed that he has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats. His supporters include a former chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court and the N.C. Fraternal Order of Police.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246