Judge Lewis fires back after Martin named next Chief Justice

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Submitted: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:27am
Updated: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 1:06pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A battle between two Republicans in the non-partisan race for North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice took an interesting turn today, when Gov. Pat McCrory said he will appoint one of the candidates to the post.

McCrory today announced Supreme Court Associate Justice Mark Martin will take over as Chief Justice when retiring Sarah Parker leaves at the end of the month.

“Justice Martin has served as the Senior Associate Justice since 2006, and our court is better for it,” Gov. McCrory said in a statement. “The humility and integrity of his character has benefited our state, and his knowledge and depth of experience is inimitable. I look forward to his work as Chief Justice as he draws upon his more than 20 years of judicial experience.”

Martin’s opponent this fall is Brunswick County Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis. Despite also being a Republican, Lewis believes the party is targeting her for choosing to run against Martin by publicly endorsing him and supporting new regulations that would change the way ballots are ordered to list Martin first.

“There are many good things about being a member of the GOP,” Lewis told WWAY. “My favorite is the willingness of those of us on the outside looking in to vote against the establishment. We shall proceed accordingly this fall. Their unjust behavior in this race will not determine my beliefs. This is the people’s seat, and the people shall decide the outcome of this election. Not party bosses.”

McCrory’s office says the governor is continuing tradition by appointing the Senior Associate Justice to the Chief Justice vacancy.


  • Ruth Mc says:

    Although she is misguided to be a member of the Republican Party, she seems to be the better choice. She needs to understand that many Republicans do not like women or minorities, so of course they are targeting her!

  • Guest2020 says:

    There is nothing misguided about a conservative being a member of the Republican Party. The Republicans liked her enough to elect her as a Superior Court Judge.

  • Debi says:

    It’s like my momma always told me…it’s not what u know but who u know.

  • guest45 says:

    People beware of Judge Ola Lewis, she is very close minded and she is about as far from being a republican as you can get, she is a demorat in sheeps clothing, I saw a case in front of her one time and that was all it took to let me know that the old saying that justice is blind, meant there was no justice for the average person, she must be defeated.

  • Don Sterling says:

    I know Judge Lewis,and she is unapologetically conservative, and a Republican. In fact, she’s the GOP’s best shot at showing North Carolinians that the party is committed to fairness, equal opportunity for all, and not business as usual!

  • Rick Wilson says:

    McCrory’s office says the governor is continuing tradition by appointing the Senior Associate Justice to the Chief Justice vacancy…..As he winks and starts telling the story of Goldilocks and the three bears……..

  • MissV says:

    IMO if any judge is truly nonpartisan, s/he should be an Independent.

  • WillAMP says:

    She’s running for office and would be foolish to remain silent. This is an election and the party bosses got behind the person who’s most likely to play ball.

  • otherguest says:

    This is the real world.

    Regardless of Governor McCRory’s motives, a Superior Court Judge needs to have the good grace to remain silent when one should remain silent.

    If one does not recognize that time, perhaps one should examine their position in society. Once a person has attained a position such as Superior Court Judge, that person should remove oneself from political diatribe in the public forum.

  • 973 says:

    Judge Ola Lewis might be more qualified than Martin and she could be less qualified than Martin, I don’t know but I wonder if she really thought McCrory would appoint her. McCrory would have followed tradition and appointed Martin even if he knew he was less qualified, she should have known that. This guy cannot be trusted, since he has been governor he has shown he’s not a man of his word.

  • Mark Bryant says:

    The judge rules from the “Bench” which is a word that shares origin(s) with the word “Bank”.

    A “Bank” controls the flow of various medium (river bank, road bank, ditch bank, financial institution,etc.).

    The individual controlling the “Bench” controls the “Bank”. The GOP may have postured themselves as if to say……”this is the person that we want controlling the bench and managing our flow”.

    Tradition? Well…….maybe traditional politricks.

    I sit on neither side of the aisle. I vote for the individual(s) that I feel is geared toward solid public service, integrity, forward thinking and genuine concern for humanity.I typically avoid candidates that may be self serving, searching for value added public service, or supporting “the establishment” and associated agenda(s).

    Everyone has candidates that they choose to support for whatever reason. The future of this NC seat at the “Bench” is in the hands of registered voters.

    We may choose to debate some issues more vigorously than others. That’s what makes America great.

    Judge Ola brings integrity, honesty, moxie, leadership, sound judgement, and common sense to the “Bench”. Judge Ola is certainly the people’s choice and she has my vote.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    The historical root of the meaning of the judicial bench comes from the fact that judges formerly sat on long seats or benches (paraphrased from Wikipedia) and does not share an origin with the word “bank” in the way you indicate.

    The word “bank” that you refer to is actually just an Anglicized variant of the word “banc” from the French. In legal terms it’s used in the context of “en banc” which refers to all of the judges of a certain court sitting together to decide a case, as in the phrase “before the full bench”. It has exactly zero to do with a river bank, road bank, ditch bank, or even a financial institution in this context.

    Your definition of bank, in this context, is capable of holding back no more water than a sieve, much less a river.

    As to Judge Ola: To say that she’s “certainly” the people’s choice before the people specifically choose her is more than a tad presumptuous. That still remains to be seen.

  • ARTHURFonzarelli says:


  • ARTHURFonzarelli says:


  • Guest000000 says:

    She’s neither Repubican or Democrat. She’s whatever gets her re-elected. She ran for and was elected to this seat as a Democrat, then changed to the Repubican party as soon as it was politically advantageous to do so. Same as a certain Sheriff.

  • cindy lewis says:

    I agree! I believe she is a good Judge and a good women. When she was a Judge at Bladen county court, she ran her courtroom the way one should be ran. I can not believe the way some people dress and act in a court of law these days. Furthermore the way Judges allow them to dress and act in there courtroom. Judge Ola did not care whos toes she stepped on . In her court you did not see such shenanigans going on. Thats just the grassroots basics Im speaking of. She is A Lady that deserves and demands respect in every thing she does. I look up to her and appreciate who she is and what she does. She has my vote.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I like Judge Lewis, too. She just adopted Judge Gore’s rules of conduct for the courtroom. I don’t know how she is, but Judge Gore would send people home if they weren’t dressed according to his rules. He is the one who started posting the rules on the door leading into the courthouse.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Isn’t this just a repeat of what just happened with Goolsby?

  • David Call says:

    You make comments on here but too scared to leave your name. Sometimes when you sit in a courtroom……you have no clue of who knows who. Or how many times that one has stood before that bench! You can’t hear real well and you already have a mind made up of the law being wrong….. Have you ever seen Judge Martin in a court room???? McCrory is just keeping business as usual! Time to shake it up!

  • Experience says:

    If you look at the experience it has to go to Judge Martin. Compare the two Judges experience and see who wins.

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