North Carolina justice critiques colleagues in speech

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Paul Newby (Photo: NCCourts.gov)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court’s only registered Republican called out the remaining six Democratic justices in a speech that marked an unusual open critique of the state’s highest court from within.

In a campaign address last weekend to Republicans, Associate Justice Paul Newby compared his Democratic colleagues to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She symbolizes to GOP activists the Democratic Party’s leftward shift.

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WRAL-TV reported on the comments after receiving a recording. Newby political consultant Paul Shumaker told the station the justice was simply giving “an example of ideological differences,” without a direct reference to anyone.

Democrats took the court’s majority following the 2016 elections. Newby is running next year for the chief justice’s seat currently held by Cheri Beasley. That means his current seat is also up for election.