February 20, 2019
Photo by Twitter via @JusticeCBeasley
North Carolina is making history! The state recently appointed, for the first time, a Black woman as its Supreme Court chief justice. Gov. Roy Cooper named Associate Justice Cheri Beasley as the state’s top judge. “This is certainly not the North Carolina of 200 years ago,” she said, according to Atlanta Blackstar. “I’m excited about the fact that North Carolina has moved forward, that we do have a diverse court.”
For the first time in our state's history, an African American woman will serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/Cu2Lxya8HT
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) February 13, 2019
WRAL reports, the 53-year-old will start her new position on March 1 after Chief Justice Mark Martin resigns to become dean of Virginia’s Regent University School of Law. Beasley spent seven years as an associate judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and served as a district court judge, according to Ebony.
The Tennessee native already has a vision for her new position and what she hopes to accomplish: “It is not lost on me — this historic fact — especially since this is Black History Month,” she said in a press conference. “I know that the work we do is hugely important, but the other thing I think about are the little girls along the way, who ought to have a sense of promise and hope for their futures, and so I hope that in some way my service inspires young people especially, but really I hope it is a show of symbolism for where we are in North Carolina.”
— Capital Tonight (@NCCapTonight) February 13, 2019
But with taking one step in the right direction, there are some who disagree with Cooper’s decision. “Today Governor Cooper decided to skip over two more experienced justices and elevated a justice with less Supreme Court experience to the open post of Chief Justice,” said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. “One can only believe the reason Cooper decided to ignore the longstanding, nonpartisan tradition of the Court was purely politics. Cooper’s constant calls to keep our courts free from political interference rings hollow with this decision.” Even Justice Paul Newby, who publicly asked to be named chief justice, according to The News & Observer, tweeted his disdain:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: pic.twitter.com/agmUpatqmE
— Justice Paul Newby (@paulmnewby) February 12, 2019
Despite some disapproval, black woman are still out here winning! Let’s not forget California just named Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as its first-ever surgeon general, or Texas swearing in 17 black female judges at the same time. Oh, and what a time to be alive to see Kamala Harris running for president. They can’t stop us.
TELL US: Do you think black women are taking over in 2019?