Democrat Robin Hudson, who has served on the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2007, is not seeking reelection, opening up seat 3 on the court. Seat 5 is also up for election this November.
Democrat Lucy Inman and Republican Richard Dietz will face off for the spot.
This election has the potential to alter the court's political lean, as two of the remaining five judges are Democrat, while three are Republican.
Judge Lucy Inman (D)
Inman was raised in Raleigh, where she graduated from Sanderson High School. She earned her B.A. in English from North Carolina State University and pursued a career in journalism, reporting on the law and regional court proceedings.
Inman later earned her juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Law in 1990. She became a law clerk for NC Supreme Court Justice Jim Exum and worked for nearly two decades in civil ligation in Los Angeles and Raleigh, representing a variety of individuals, businesses and corporations in cases of fraud and sexual abuse.
In 2010, she was appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to act as a special superior court judge, which involved moderating jury trials and hearings across North Carolina.
Most recently, in 2014, she won her statewide bid to the Court of Appeals, where she still serves. She has authored over 500 decisions.
Judge Richard Dietz (R)
Dietz grew up in Pennsylvania. He earned his B.A. in business from Shippensburg University in 1999. He graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2002 and later received a Master’s degree from Duke University School of Law.
Post-law school, Dietz clerked for both Judge Samuel G. Wilson on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia from 2002-03 and Judge H. Emory Widener, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2003-04.
Dietz worked in private practice in 2006 as an associate at Covington & Burling, a large firm in D.C. He transitioned back to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, becoming a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, a large international firm.
Dietz argued at the U.S. Supreme Court in Abramski v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 2259 (2014), which ruled against gun ‘straw-purchases’, transactions where a buyer purchases a firearm on behalf of someone else.
He currently presides on the North Carolina Court of Appeals with Inman and was appointed by former governor Pat McCrory to fill a vacancy in 2014.
Inman has already once attempted to join the state’s Supreme Court. In 2019, she announced her candidacy but was narrowly defeated by Republican challenger, Phil Berger Jr. She lost by roughly 70,000 votes in the 2020 elections. So far, her fundraising in 2022 vastly outperforms her opponent’s. As of June 30, she had raised nearly $1.3 million to Dietz’s nearly $400,000.
This election is closely watched, as Supreme Court seats last for 8-year term limits and can have substantive and long-term impact on jurisprudence in North Carolina.
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