Perdue appoints Beasley to Supreme Court

The Democratic governor circumvented her own appointments process in order to elevate Beasley before Republican Pat McCrory takes office.

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Judge Cheri Beasley
Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Bev Perdue has appointed Court of Appeals Judge Cheri Beasley to the state Supreme Court. 
To do so, she had to set aside a process she created to ensure conflicts of interest didn't enter into judicial appointments. The move provoked protests from Republicans, but the state constitution gives the governor the power to fill vacancies on the court. 

Beasley will replace Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who stepped down this month. From a Perdue news release: 

Gov. Bev Perdue today appointed Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Beasley, currently a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

“I am thrilled to appoint Cheri to our state’s highest court.” said Gov. Perdue. “She has excelled both as a District Court judge and as a judge on the Court of Appeals. She will make a superb justice on the Supreme Court.”

Beasley was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2008. Prior to that, she served as a District Court judge in the Twelfth Judicial District from 1999 until 2008. Before going on the bench, Beasley worked as an assistant public defender in Fayetteville for five years.

“I am honored that Governor Perdue has appointed me to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina,” Beasley said. “I am grateful for her confidence in my ability to render fair and impartial decisions while serving on our state’s highest Court. Throughout my years of service on the judiciary, I have always considered it a privilege to serve the people of our state.”

Beasley has been active in numerous professional organizations, including the North Carolina Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of District Court Judges, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, the Cumberland County Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association and Tenth Judicial District Bar, the Cumberland County Association of Defense Attorneys, and the Fayetteville Bench and Bar. She has also served as a lecturer in Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law and the North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Beasley received her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University/Douglass College.

Sen. Phil Berger, his chamber's top Republican, objected to Perdue bypassing her appointments panel in order to elevate Beasley. 

“We've reached a new low when the only way our governor can appoint someone to enforce the law is by breaking her own rules,” Berger said in a statement. “It is increasingly clear that Gov. Perdue’s creation of the judicial screening commission was nothing short of a deceitful political charade. And unfortunately her actions overshadow what should be a discussion of Judge Beasley’s credentials.”

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