October 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Turkey: Election2004 - Parker: Jurisprudence: Raleigh News: Turkey RPCV Sarah Parker in re-election campaign for North Carolina State Supreme Court

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Turkey: Peace Corps Turkey : The Peace Corps in Turkey: October 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Turkey: Election2004 - Parker: Jurisprudence: Raleigh News: Turkey RPCV Sarah Parker in re-election campaign for North Carolina State Supreme Court

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-9-111.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 12:27 am: Edit Post

Turkey RPCV Sarah Parker in re-election campaign for North Carolina State Supreme Court

Turkey RPCV Sarah Parker in re-election campaign for North Carolina State Supreme Court

Turkey RPCV Sarah Parker in re-election campaign for North Carolina State Supreme Court

Tyson challenges Parker for Supreme Court seat


In North Carolina's top court election this year, incumbent Justice Sarah Parker says voters should re-elect her because of her 20 years' experience as a judge and because the Supreme Court should keep its only woman.

"I am a fair-minded, hardworking, capable judge with common sense," said Parker, who has served on the Supreme Court for 12 years and is its senior member. "My experience on the court is a valuable asset because we've had substantial turnover in recent years. I bring an element of stability to the court."

Challenger John Tyson, a judge on the Court of Appeals the past four years, says he's ready to move up to the state's top court.

"I have the experience, judicial temperament and training necessary to be an effective and efficient Supreme Court justice," he said. "It is a dream of mine to serve on the state's highest court."

Parker, 62, says it's important for the seven-member court to have at least one woman, especially in an age when more and more lawyers and litigants are women.

"We need diversity on our court," she said. "When women make up more than 50 percent of the population, when the door [of the court's conference room] is closed and the decisions are made, there should be a woman's voice at the table."

Tyson, who opposes basing hiring and promotion decisions on race or gender, says the state's voters should pick him Nov. 2 because he works faster and better than Parker.

"I think what sets me apart from my opponent is my work ethic, my ability to be accountable to the public and to value the lawyers' and litigants' time by rendering not only a reasoned decision, but a prompt decision," he said. "That's something my opponent has not done."

Tyson's campaign Web site features a statistical analysis of his work as an appeals court judge. It says the Supreme Court has upheld 94 percent of the rulings Tyson has written that were appealed. It also says he files his rulings an average of 40 days after cases are argued in court.

Tyson says Parker takes an average of 156 days to issue rulings after cases are heard and has taken more than a year 10 times. When Parker was on the appeals court, where cases typically are decided faster, Parker's average was 113 days, Tyson says.

Parker says speed is not the main qualification for a judge. "The question becomes: What's the difference in the quality?" she said.

Tyson, 51, also is campaigning on his conservative judicial philosophy and says he will "protect our families and preserve traditional values."

Tyson says, for example, that he opposes gay marriage, which is against the law in North Carolina but has become a judicial issue in other states and could here. Tyson concedes when pressed that the state Supreme Court can't change federal law on abortion, another issue he highlights.

In a 1997 case, Parker was the only justice to argue that poor women might have a legal right to state-financed abortions that were medically necessary; the court majority ruled that they do not. But Parker's election campaign isn't as ideological as Tyson's.

"The promise that I'm making is that I will be fair and impartial to all who come before the court and will perform the duties of the office with diligence and integrity," she said. "I like the job, and it affords me an opportunity to make a contribution."

Parker has the endorsements of the N.C. Association of Educators, the AFL-CIO, the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers and the N.C. Police Benevolent Association.

Tyson has been endorsed by the state Republican Party, the N.C. Republican Alliance and dozens of Republican politicians.

Parker's and Tyson's party affiliations won't be listed on voter ballots. But Parker is campaigning as a Democrat, Tyson as a Republican.

Staff writer Matthew Eisley can be reached at 829-4538 or meisley@newsobserver.com.

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Story Source: Raleigh News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Turkey; Election2004 - Parker; Jurisprudence



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