• 55°

NC Chief Justice Mark Martin: Celebrating 200 Years of North Carolina’s Supreme Court

By Chief Justice Mark Martin

North Carolina Supreme Court

This year marks the beginning of a much anticipated celebration of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The Supreme Court will turn 200 next year, and we are pleased to commemorate this bicentennial anniversary by bringing the court to people around the state.

Established in 1819, the court was initially composed of three justices who served “for periods of good behavior” that essentially became life terms. The court originally met only in Raleigh, a location that proved burdensome to many residents as the state’s population began to push westward in the first half of the 19th century.

Prompted by its western constituency, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation requiring the court to hold monthly sessions in Morganton starting in 1847.

During its time in Morganton, the court held arguments in almost 500 cases. Remarkably, more than two-thirds of these cases were argued by either one of two Asheville brothers, John and Nicholas Woodfin. These court sessions continued until 1861, when tensions preceding the Civil War prevented the court from leaving its permanent home in the state capital.

The court has remained in Raleigh since that time but has recently held special sessions of court in Burke and Chowan counties. Thanks to legislation passed last year by the General Assembly, the court will convene several additional sessions of oral argument outside Raleigh over the next three years as a part of its 200th anniversary celebration. Taking the court on the road will help promote discussion about the role of courts and the importance of the rule of law in a free society.

I am pleased to share that our first traveling court sessions will be held in May and will take place in Morganton, Hendersonville and Asheville. Later this fall, we will hold sessions in Halifax, Greenville and New Bern. Over time, we hope to convene sessions of court in 20 or more North Carolina cities and towns.

Each of these visits will be paired with local civics education initiatives to maximize public interaction and provide learning opportunities for North Carolinians of all ages.

Every part of our state is rich in local history, and the court is eager to share our 200th anniversary with all of the more than 10 million people who call North Carolina home. I invite everyone to join us as we celebrate the enduring nature of our state courts and their proud legacy of providing justice for all.

Comments

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18