RALEIGH — Chief Justice Paul Newby became the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina today. He took the oath of office shortly after midnight, administered by Superior Court Judge Andrew Heath in the Newby home. Chief Justice Newby holds the highest judicial office in North Carolina and heads the Judicial Branch, the third and co-equal branch of state government. A formal ceremonial investiture is scheduled for January 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. and can be viewed from the Supreme Court’s YouTube page.
“It is truly a sacred honor and privilege to serve as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina,” said Chief Justice Paul Newby. “Today, I took a solemn oath before God and the people of this great state to uphold the constitution and laws of this land, so that justice will be administered fairly without prejudice for all North Carolinians.”
Before taking his oath of office, Chief Justice Newby held the senior associate justice position on the Supreme Court, having first been elected in 2004. In addition to his service on the Court, Chief Justice Newby is an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law, co-author of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2d ed. 2013), co-chair of the Chief Justice’s civic education initiative and Judicial Branch Speakers Bureau, and former chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.
His prior professional experience includes five years of private practice and working as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh where he served for over 19 years. During that time, he played an integral role in conducting an undercover sting operation that recovered North Carolina’s original copy of the Bill of Rights, which was stolen after the Civil War.
Chief Justice Newby has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the North Carolina Bar Association’s Citizen Lawyer Award in 2011, and in 2012 he received its John McNeill Smith Jr. Award, recognizing his work in the area of constitutional rights and responsibilities. In further recognition of his professional service, Chief Justice Newby received the James Iredell Award and an honorary Doctor of Law from Southern Wesleyan University.
Chief Justice Newby is originally from Randolph County and attended high school in Jamestown, North Carolina. He graduated from Duke University with high honors and the University of North Carolina School of Law. He has been married to his wife, Macon Tucker Newby, since 1983, and they have four children. He and his wife attend Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, where he has served as an elder and Sunday school teacher. He is an Eagle Scout and has received the national Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.