Experts expect an influx of political advocacy money into the state Supreme Court election this November, reports the Associated Press. The outcome could swing the legal temperament of the entire court. The winner likely will have to rule on challenged redistricting maps approved by the new Republican-controlled legislature. There could also be lawsuits over business-friendly legislation, such as medical malpractice award limits.
The election has prompted the creation of an outside committee led by political and financial heavyweights backing Associate Justice Paul Newby. The group could raise enough money to exceed the roughly $625,000 the campaigns of Newby and challenger Sam Ervin IV had between them June 30. “With the exception of the governor’s race, it’s the most important (statewide) political campaign in North Carolina this year, and it’s hardly on anybody’s radar screen,” said Tom Fetzer, a former state Republican Party chairman leading the effort for the North Carolina Judicial Coalition supporting Newby. “The philosophical fulcrum of the court could shift.”