Justice Paul Newby

Newby brings free market extremism to NC Supreme Court

If you're a victim of fraud or other deceptive practices, it must be your own fault:

A critical finding in the majority opinion, written by Justice Paul Newby, was the determination that consumers must show that misrepresentations by the bank were a factor in their decision to enter into the loans, which in legal parlance is known as reliance. That was the legal argument put forth by Community Bank. The bank contended that the consumers took out the second mortgages based on the total package – the fees and the interest rates – and not “because they believed they were receiving discounted loans,” the court noted.

The court also overturned the claim of excessive fees, reasoning that “in most cases, there is nothing unfair or deceptive about freely entering a transaction on the open market.”

This is what happens when you put an ideologue like Newby in such an important position: he disregards precedence and good common sense, and makes a ruling based on his faith in an unproven economic theory. The fairy tale goes like this: if a business or individual continues to operate dishonestly, eventually customers will stop buying their product. Ergo, the government doesn't need to get involved. And there's no such thing as a "victim" in this formula, they are "participants" in a transaction who didn't pay close enough attention or ask the right questions. That's not justice, it's called negligence.

Civitas funnels out-of-state money into NC Supreme Court race

First, a few words from Justice Paul Newby's sponsor:

Whereas candidates and their committees can accept only $5,000 from individual donors in an election year12 and cannot receive moneys from corporations, unions, or associations, super PACs can accept money from any type of donor (corporation, union, or private individual) without any limit on the amount donated and can spend that money without limit to promote the election or defeat of specific candidates.

That's excerpted from a Federalist Society's white paper, in which the author expends much effort trying to convince the reader that huge campaign expenditures by super PACs are actually a good thing, since it helps educate us idiots better:

The scales of justice do not weigh dollars and cents; they weigh facts and law. Let’s keep it that way.

This is a link to my op-ed from Creative Loafing Charlotte on the North Carolina Supreme Court race between Justice Paul Newby and Judge Sam Ervin of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Here are some excerpts:

The potential for high-stakes issues, such as redistricting maps, to go before the court in the next couple years has scared conservatives like Fetzer into shattering all the barriers that have protected judicial races from corruption in the past.

Welcome to a brave new world of North Carolina politics, where judicial races will become free-for-alls, the winner will have the richest friends, and the loser will be an average citizen whose voice will be drowned out by an onslaught of money.

Religious fervor in NC's highest court

Church Elder Paul Newby defines his decision-making process:

So, I think most importantly, it is as I said, conscientiously before God, I will perform the duties of my office. And certainly I understand whether it's Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, whether it's the preamble to our state constitution ... 'all' means all, and our rights come not from the government, or the Bill of Rights or the Constitution, but our rights come from our creator."

In Western civilization anyway, most of the rights we attribute to a free society weren't really formulated until the 16th Century. They might have been developed sooner, but religious leaders of the time worked hand-in-hand with monarchs to preserve their respective power bases. Not to mention, if those rights did come from the Creator, why did this entity wait for 1,500+ years to put them in place? And what about these "rights":

Judicial debate set for tonight

Unfortunately, it will be hosted by a Conservative astro-turf organization:

Incumbents for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and nearly all of their challengers were slated to participate Tuesday night in judicial debates sponsored by a Winston-Salem chapter of the conservative-leaning Federalist Society.

And I'm sure the "sponsor" will choose which questions to debate. At first, I was somewhat incensed that this would be held in an (apparently) lawyer-only venue. But if the questions are already bent before the debating begins, maybe that's for the best.

Justice Newby stands behind shadowy Super PAC

I guess educating voters doesn't include telling them where the money came from:

The incumbent candidate in the race for a state Supreme Court seat said a political action committee’s advertisements on his behalf are a way to educate the public about the state’s judicial system.

Oh, it's educational all right. We learn that seats on the state's highest court are for sale, no questions asked. GOP hypocrisy: You should show an ID to vote, but you don't have to show an ID if you want to buy a judge. Forget about tv ads for a moment, and compare how many times Newby mentions God vs the Constitution:

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