Carolina Journal reports:

Gov. Roy Cooper picked the youngest member of the N.C. Supreme Court to its top position.

Cooper named fellow Democrat Cheri Beasley, 52, an associate justice on the court, to succeed Republican Mark Martin, who is leaving the chief justice’s post at the end of this month. Beasley also is the first African-American woman to be elevated to chief justice in the 200-year history of the state’s highest court.

Cooper wouldn’t say whether he will name a Republican to fill Beasley’s slot to maintain the current 5-2 partisan balance.

“To lead this court is to uphold the virtues of due process, equal protection, and justice for all North Carolinians,” Cooper said.

Cooper said Beasley has the high legal ability, decency, integrity, and devotion to public service required for the job. He called her the right person at the right time in defending his decision to bypass longer-serving Senior Associate Justice Paul Newby, a Republican who already announced as a chief justice candidate in 2020, and Associate Justice Robin Hudson, a Democrat.

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