Former chief justice calls for campaign contributions for Hunter

08/25/2014 6:09 PM

08/25/2014 6:09 PM

In a fiery plea for money, I. Beverly Lake, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is rallying support for Bob Hunter in his campaign for a seat on the high court.

Lake, who reached mandatory retirement age in 2006, sent out a letter to Republican donors stating his case clearly:

“One justice can mean the difference between liberty and tyranny. … Since leaving the bench, I’ve watched liberal ‘activist judges’ rewrite the Constitution – and waited for one justice to stand up and say ‘No’ to the craziness going on in our courts.”

Hunter was an appeals court judge whom the governor recently elevated to the Supreme Court to fill out the term of Justice Mark Martin through the end of the year. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Martin to replace Justice Sarah Parker as chief justice, because she reached the mandatory retirement age.

Hunter and appeals court Judge Sam Ervin IV are running for Martin’s seat on the Supreme Court. Ervin, a Democrat, unsuccessfully ran against Justice Paul Newby two years ago, in a expensive race dominated by outside campaign funding.

Lake’s letter, written on state Supreme Court letterhead, reports that Hunter’s first campaign poll shows him trailing Ervin, and that half of the people who say they will vote for Ervin think he’s a Republican.

To come from behind, Lake writes, Hunter needs to raise $750,000 to fund a TV, radio and social media campaign.

Lake ends by quoting the late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 speech accepting the Republican nomination for president: “Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

Of course the rest of that famous quote is: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

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