Should the United States Supreme Court officially overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks, state courts are likely to be “flooded” with litigation forcing them to rule on access to abortion, according to Politico. Roe v. Wade has ensured access to abortion nationwide since 1973 and the end of federal abortion protections would significantly impact down-ballot races across the country, including in North Carolina.
North Carolina’s State Supreme Court currently has a 4-3 majority in favor of Democrats. Justice Sam J. Ervin, a Democrat, is running for re-election and will face Republican Trey Allen in the fall. Allen serves as General Counsel for the Administrative Office of the Courts under Republican Chief Justice Paul Newby and has never served as a judge himself.
Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman, a Democrat, is seeking the open seat previously occupied by Justice Robin Hudson. Inman will face fellow Court of Appeals judge Richard Dietz, a Republican.
The Democratic majority on the NC Supreme Court hangs in the balance and should the democratic candidates fail to retain the majority in November, progressives will not have another chance to regain control of the court until 2028. Should the United States Supreme court overturn Roe, North Carolina’s previously enjoined 20-week abortion ban could likely come before the court, among other measures.
Tara Romano, Executive Director of Pro-Choice North Carolina told Politico, “North Carolina could be a place that has abortion access after Roe falls, but we don’t know for how long.”
Reproductive rights are on the ballot this fall. For more information on upcoming elections in North Carolina, please visit the State Board of Elections website to obtain your sample ballot.