North Carolina supreme court chief justice Paul Newby visited Alamance County Friday afternoon, part of the justice’s plan to visit courthouses across all 100 counties in the state.
Newby arrived after having been to courthouses in High Point and Greensboro in Guilford County.
Newby was welcomed by top judicial officials, as well as local politicians.
Among those present were Alamance County’s superior court judges Tom Lambeth and Andy Hanford and district court judge Larry Brown, who gave a prayer to open the courtroom session; sheriff Terry Johnson; district attorney Sean Boone; state representatives Dennis Riddell and Ricky Hurtado, as well as the man Hurtado beat last year, former state representative Steve Ross; county commissioner chairman John Paisley and fellow commissioner Craig Turner, both attorneys; Graham city council member Jennifer Talley; and clerk of court Meredith Edwards.
Newby spoke to several dozen deputy and assistant clerks, attorneys, and others in the courtroom in the Historic Court House, thanking all for their commitment to serving the public even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newby was joined by his wife, Macon, and two members of his supreme court staff, including Alamance County native and legal counsel Ragan Oakley, daughter of Tim and Stacy Riddle of Burlington.
After his remarks and greeting those who had attended, Newby also strolled along West Elm Street with clerk of court Meredith Edwards, who pointed out the county’s other judicial facilities: the Civil Courts Building, as well as the Judge J.B. Allen, Jr. Court House.
Before he left, Newby addressed a question on whether a vaccination mandate should be imposed on judicial employees in the state. Newby said he preferred to leave those decisions to the top judicial officials in each county.
“What’s best for Alamance County is left to the Alamance County local officials as they collaborate among the elected folks who answer to ‘we the people,'” listing specifically the clerk of court, local judges, the sheriff, and district attorney as well as in collaboration with the local bar.
Hear more of his response below: