By: Anthony GonzalezStaff Writer
December 15, 2012
N.C. Supreme Court Justice Patricia A. Timmons-Goodson, the only female African-American to serve on the state’s highest court, resigned her position last month.
Outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat who will leave office after next month, quickly filled the vacancy.
Last year, Perdue created an independent commission to screen and recommend appointees to the courts, including the Supreme Court. She formed the commission to “take politics out of appointing judges.”
Under an executive order issued by Perdue in April 2011, the commission is supposed to gather information, evaluate applicants and recommend three people for a judicial opening and Perdue was bound to choose one of those selections.
The process generally takes more than six weeks.
However, instead of following the order, Gov. Perdue opted to bypass it and appointed Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court of North Carolina this December 12th.
“I am thrilled to appoint Cheri to our state’s highest court.” said Gov. Perdue in a released statement. “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.
Calls to Perdue on the manuevor were not returned to the Tribune office.
Republicans issued sharp words for Perdue, however. Senate leader Phil Berger, a leading Republican, said this would be “one more example of the rank hypocrisy soiling her legacy.” He suggested the decision to appoint should be left to governor-elect McCrory.