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Newby sworn in as chief justice of N.C. Supreme Court
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Newby sworn in as chief justice of N.C. Supreme Court

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RALEIGH — Paul Newby was sworn in shortly after midnight Friday to become the 30th chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.

Superior Court Judge Andrew Heath administered the oath of office in the Newbys' home, the Administrative Office of the Courts said in a news release.

Newby, an Asheboro native who attended Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, held the senior associate justice position on the Supreme Court before being elected in November to the top judicial post in the state. The Republican defeated Chief Justice Cheri Beasley by just 401 votes from nearly 5.4 million cast. Beasley, a Democrat and first Black woman to serve as chief justice, is no longer on the seven-member court.

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Newby, who was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2004, will participate in a public swearing-in ceremony Wednesday that will be broadcast online.

Two other new associate justices are joining the court following their election victories — Republicans Tamara Barringer and Phil Berger Jr.

“It is truly a sacred honor and privilege to serve as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina,” Newby said in a prepared statement. “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.”

Newby also serves as an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law. And he is a co-author of "The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary." He spent five years in private practice and worked as an assistant U.S. 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, according to the release.

Newby graduated from Duke University with high honors and the UNC 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.

The Associated Press contributed.

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