State News

Martin starts eight-year term as North Carolina chief justice

Posted January 5, 2015

— The top judge on North Carolina's highest court took his oath of office Monday for a new eight-year term.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin was elected in November, but he has served in the role the past four months. Gov. Pat McCrory elevated Martin to the role to succeed Chief Justice Sarah Parker, a Democrat who reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

“I plan to hit the ground running to work with judicial system stakeholders, the public and the leadership of the two other branches of government,” Martin said. “My work is in full dedication to strengthening and advancing the rule of law in North Carolina and to protecting and preserving the rights and liberties of all the people, as guaranteed by the constitutions and laws of the United States and North Carolina.”

He said he wants to raise the judicial branch’s visibility as a separate and equal branch of government and noted the need to fund the state’s courts, which have endured $80.6 million in budget cuts during the recession.

Martin, who is the 28th chief justice, has been serving on the Supreme Court since first being elected in 1998. He rose from the lower-level Court of Appeals and Superior Court. He's a graduate of Western Carolina University and the University of North Carolina law school.

Other members of the court will be sworn in on subsequent days this week: Associate Justice Robin Hudson Tuesday at 2 p.m., Associate Justice Sam Ervin IV Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Associate Justice Cheri Beasley Thursday at 2 p.m. will carry each ceremony live.


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