Supreme Court justice decries attack ads

Posted January 6, 2015

— Associate Justice Robin Hudson was sworn in Tuesday for her second term on the North Carolina Supreme Court, and she had some choice words for groups that aired campaign ads such as one that attacked her during last spring's primary.

A political action committee known as Justice for All NC paid for a television ad that ran in the days leading up to the May 6 primary that suggested Hudson supports child molesters because of her dissent in a 2010 case involving electronic monitoring of those convicted of certain sexual offenses.

Hudson said she believes the ad helped her to victory in both the primary and general election because it attracted attention to the Supreme Court races and voters took exception to the outlandish charges leveled against her.

"People don't want judges to get down in the mud of politics, and they reacted strongly," she said Tuesday in comments after taking the oath of office.

Still, she said, the judicial system is at a crossroads in which outside interest groups are trying to influence elections to pack judges with certain philosophies onto state appellate courts in an effort to get legislative and executive actions either upheld or overturned.

"This sounds an awful lot like wanting judges to come into court with a particular agenda," she said. "That does not seem to me to be what our oath (of office) requires us to do."

Hudson said she hopes North Carolina can maintain "the fair-minded, honest and independent judiciary that we've always had."


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  • heelhawk Jan 9, 2015

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    There is a very GOOD reason why the partisanship of judicial candidates is not listed on the ballot. It is because the law is the law outside of politics. We should be voting for the best person to interpret and uphold the written law. They don't list the political party so uninformed voters like you can't just pull the R lever.

  • skeeter II Jan 9, 2015

    Everything in NC government operations does NOT to be based on politics! When it is, the public suffer. What happened to following the law in reaching a decision in a state agency or local government unit?

    That is what is wrong in NC is the media report everything is this political party did this or that; to think this or that as the reason for action taken.

    Some responses indicate that knowing the party of a candidate would indicate how they would rule in future cases? If that were true, the new Supreme Court justices would be approved based upon knowledge of which party they belonged to.

    I believe that each case that comes before a justice deserves their full attention to the detail evidence presented in the courtroom. I think they can only consider that evidence in reaching a decision. If the case involves a jury, then they should be sure the evidence is presented according to the rules. The jury can only make their decision based upon the presented evidence.

  • Deborrah Newton Jan 9, 2015
    user avatar

    Some argue the alternative, an appointed judiciary. We have that in federal court, and it is a sadly overly political, closed shop for citizen lawyers who wish to serve the public as judges in federal court. With that example, I would say electing our judges may not be a perfect system, but at least with the First Amendment we (to wit: every concerned voting citizen) get a chance to argue about it in the public forum and come to a vetted result. As such, perfect - no; the best available - no doubt. Deb Newton, federal lawyer, Raleigh

  • Terry Watts Jan 9, 2015
    user avatar

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    Try Google... The gist of the molester case was that the Hudson opined that the State cannot retroactively punish criminals, ie the state cannot further punish a person for their crimes if their crimes were committed before the passage of a new law. Specifically, 3 molesters sued the State when the State required them to wear ankle bracelets. They were punished for their crimes before the passage of the requirement.

    An analogy would be if the State decided to further fine you for a moving violation you committed years ago b/c they've increased the penalties for speeding.

    You will note that she was 1 of 3 Dissenters, and the molesters lost their lawsuit.

  • stymieindurham Jan 9, 2015

    I agree. Party affiliation should be required for EVERY political candidate's ad's. It gives a little insight into their idiologies.

  • Kenny Dunn Jan 9, 2015
    user avatar

    The ads this cycle disturbed me as well. I worry for the future of our country. If nothing is done it will soon be the entire government bought by the richest individuals and large corporations. This does not bode well for the average citizen.

  • Mary Zulch Jan 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Her judgements have not been about justice. We have not always had, we still do not have, judiciaries who are fair minded or honest. They have their own set of guidelines we never know about. I am sorry she won.

  • Jump1 Jan 8, 2015

    Hudson said she hopes North Carolina can maintain "the fair-minded, honest and independent judiciary that we've always had."
    Another elected daydreamer for NC.

  • icdmbpppl Jan 8, 2015

    Judges political affiliation should be listed on the ballot. Why make it more difficult for a voter to make a decision? I don't know how she justified her decision about the child molester case, but it would be interesting to know the facts.

  • 1jalapeno Jan 8, 2015

    Hudson said she hopes North Carolina can maintain "the fair-minded, honest and independent judiciary that we've always had."