Supreme Court justice decries attack ads

Posted January 6, 2015 7:07 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2015 7:52 p.m. EST

— 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."