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Paul Newby



Originally published: 2012-04-24 12:47:06
Last modified: 2012-04-24 13:01:15

Newby seeks second term

Growing up in Jamestown as the son of a teacher and an hourly worker, Paul Martin Newby had no idea he would one day serve as a justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.

But after eight years in the role, Newby says the challenge and privilege of seeking justice and truth is calling him to seek a second term.

Newby will be challenged in November by N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV, a Democrat whose pedigree could make him a formidable opponent.

Newby spoke with the Watauga Democrat on Friday during a visit to Boone about what makes him worthy of voters' consideration.

Newby, who majored in public policy studies at Duke University before attending UNC-Chapel Hill for law school, said his background has included practice in almost every area of the law.

In his eight years on the state's highest court, Newby has written more opinions than any other justice, he said.

While the seat is nonpartisan, Newby's race will determine whether the court continues with a Republican majority or switches to a Democratic majority. Newby served as the keynote speaker Friday at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner hosted by the Watauga County Republican Party.

“I have a certain judicial philosophy which believes that the legislature needs to legislate and the courts are simply to apply the law as intended by the legislature,” Newby said, a stance he calls “judicial self-restraint.”

Standing out in a judicial race can be difficult; according to a 2009 Elon University poll, four in 10 North Carolinians did not know that judges were elected.

Newby urged voters to spend time on his website at newbyforcourt.com.

“Go to the candidates' website and look at their lives. Look at what they've done,” said Newby, whose background includes 19 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh. 

He received the Boy Scout Heroism Award for rescuing nine people from a riptide off the North Carolina coast.

Newby said he considers his role — and the practice of law generally — a privilege. 

“It's very much a refining experience,” he said. “You learn that your first reaction when you hear something may not be ultimately where the truth lies. You learn not to react on emotion but wait until you learn all the facts.”