We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:


Latest News

North Carolina Supreme Court justice steps down as rumors of gubernatorial campaign swirl

 August 26, 2023

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan announced his resignation amid speculations of a gubernatorial campaign.

Morgan announced his resignation from the state's high court, effective the week of Sept. 4, amidst rumors of a possible run for governor. The resignation was made public on X, formerly known as Twitter, and follows Morgan's previous announcement in May that he did not plan to run for re-election. This move gives Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper the opportunity to appoint Morgan's replacement ahead of the 2024 elections, in which the Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court, as reported by Fox News.

Morgan to retire without seeking final term

Morgan, who is 67 years old, would have been able to serve only half of another eight-year term due to the mandatory retirement age of 72 for North Carolina judges.

However, there are provisions in both the state House and Senate budget plans that could have extended the judicial mandatory retirement age from 72 to 76.

Had Morgan sought re-election and had this change become law, he could have served almost seven years of a new eight-year term.

Morgan's career and future plans

Michael Morgan has had a distinguished career, serving in four different judgeships over his 34 years of judicial service.

He was the last current member of the North Carolina Supreme Court elected with no party labels on the ballot, having unseated incumbent Justice Robert Edmunds in 2016.

Born in Cherry Point and raised in New Bern, Morgan earned his bachelor's degree from Duke University and a law degree from North Carolina Central University.

He worked for the state Department of Justice for 10 years before being appointed as an administrative law judge in 1989.

Despite the potential change in mandatory retirement age, Morgan chose not to take advantage of it.

This change is likely to affect the state Supreme Court's top post, as Republican Chief Justice Paul Newby, is five months older than Morgan.

According to existing law, Newby would face mandatory retirement by the end of May 2027, but under the proposed changes, he could serve his full term and run for a second term as chief.

While Morgan declined to outline his future plans, he spoke to WRAL-TV saying:

(I have) a desire to make a difference in the state of North Carolina. After I get off the court, I can focus on how that might best be accomplished. With the help of my outstanding staff, all of my opinions and assignments have been completed as the Court acts on them and concludes its current cycle in the coming days.

Impact on the court and 2024 elections

Morgan's resignation will have a significant impact on the court and the upcoming 2024 elections.

His departure gives Gov. Roy Cooper the chance to appoint his replacement, who will then serve on the court for roughly a year before facing the voters in 2024.

This appointment will be crucial for Democrats as Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court, and depending on the outcome of the 2024 election, that majority could either remain the same or move to 6-1 in favor of the GOP.

Appeals Court Judge Jefferson Griffin, a Republican, has already announced his plans to run in next year’s state Supreme Court election.

Morgan's resignation and the subsequent appointment of his replacement will undoubtedly influence the dynamics of the court and the 2024 elections.

In a tweet from May 18, Morgan expressed his gratitude for his years of service, saying:

With the incredibly good fortune to be the only person ever in NC to serve in 4 different judgeships over my 34 years of judicial service, I shall not seek to be reelected in 2024 as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.


  • Michael Morgan announced his resignation from the North Carolina Supreme Court, effective the week of September 4.
  • There are rumors of Morgan running for governor, although he has not confirmed any future plans.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper will appoint Morgan's replacement, who will serve on the court for about a year before facing the voters in 2024.
  • Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court, and the appointment of Morgan's replacement will be crucial in shaping the court's dynamics ahead of the 2024 elections.