One of the biggest wins for Republicans on Election Day was gaining the majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court (North Carolina elects its state supreme court justices in partisan races.):
[T]he biggest and longest-lasting impacts of Tuesday’s elections will be felt at the state Supreme Court, where Republicans flipped two Democratic-held seats to earn a 5-2 majority that will last until at least 2028.
State lawmakers and U.S. House members elected Tuesday will have to face voters two more times before Democrats even get a chance to retake the state’s highest court. In that time, conservative justices will have a chance to weigh in on a multitude of issues, including redistricting, voting rights, the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches and social issues, including, potentially, abortion rights.
This has the potential to precipitate a huge shift in what policies are passed in a state that has a Democrat governor but Republican majorities in the state's general assembly:
The state Supreme Court now having a more conservative lean may also impact the policy calls of Republican leadership in the N.C. General Assembly. Republicans have been fighting to defend their policies at the highest levels of the state’s judiciary since taking control of the legislature in 2010, as left-leaning advocacy groups sought to overturn their work in the courts. Now, after Tuesday’s state legislative races gave Republicans some pick ups overall, the N.C. Senate has a supermajority to override Democrat Gov. Cooper’s veto pen, and the House is within one vote of it.
“Republicans have developed a track record of winning one-on-one court races because people like conservative judges,” said political analyst and columnist Dallas Woodhouse. “Instead of automatically striking down Republican legislation that Democrats simply don’t like, the new originalist court will adhere to the exact text of the State Constitution, resulting in duly enacted laws of the legislature being viewed as constitutional until proven otherwise. Whereas, the current left-leaning court forced lawmakers to prove their actions were constitutional, showing deference to interest groups who didn’t want their policy measures enacted in the first place.”
Judicial races have been a top priority of the North Carolina Republican Party over the last few years, and it has certainly paid off.
Since @WhatleyNCGOP was elected in 2019, he started Judicial Victory Fund & has worked endlessly to bring attention to our NC judicial races. It’s been a privilege to work along side of him the whole time & celebrate winning 15/15 for electing Conservative Judges in our tenure. pic.twitter.com/OuLc4UeOEz— sarah newby (@sarahfnewby) November 9, 2022
As RNLA previously highlighted, the outcomes of state supreme court races are very consequential despite them typically running under the radar.
State supreme court elections often fall under the radar, but issues like redistricting and the overturning of Roe v. Wade are raising their profile as we approach the 2022 midterm elections. https://t.co/RSrzL92rXg— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) August 18, 2022
Congratulations to the newly-elected Republican justices for the North Carolina Supreme Court!