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Robin Hudson 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire


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Robin Hudson, candidate for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice, 2014 People's Alliance PAC Questionnaire

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Robin Hudson 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire

  1. 1. 1    Justice Robin Hudson People’s Alliance PAC 2014 Questionnaire for North Carolina Appellate Division Judicial Candidates Please make your answers complete, but concise. Your responses will not be treated as confidential. Candidate’s name Justice Robin Hudson Residence address Raleigh, NC Cell-phone Number 919 624-3477 e-mail Resume is attached. About you: 1) Where were you born and where have you lived? I was born in DeKalb County, Georgia. I lived in Greensboro when in high school, and graduated from Page Senior High. I have lived in New Haven, CT when I attended Yale as an undergraduate, and in Chapel Hill when I attended UNC law school. I have also lived in Boston, and on Cape Cod. I lived in Durham for several years, but for many years I have lived in Wake County with my husband Victor. 2) Are you conservative or liberal? Please choose one and then explain your answer. I do not categorize judges that way. My approach to judging requires that I not bring a political ideology or agenda into the process, but that I only promise to be fair and to apply the law to the facts in the particular case, without favor to any side. My job as a judge is not to make policy, but rather to decide cases, which are the disputes that people bring before our court. I work as hard as I can to apply the laws passed by the legislature, and to make sure those laws are within the constraints of the North Carolina and Unites States Constitutions. I do not believe that we as judges are to read words into the laws that were not written by the legislature, nor are we to read words out that are plainly there. 3) Please describe how your religious and philosophical beliefs may affect your conduct and decision making if you are elected. As I mentioned above, I never bring a personal agenda into the courtroom; as such, any personal views or opinions are not relevant to my job on the Court.
  2. 2. 2    4) Please list the organizations (educational, social, charitable, cultural, political, religious, etc.) you have joined or supported. If you have held an office in any of these organizations, please describe. Please see my resume, attached. 5) If you have had an occupation other than law, please describe the occupation and the work you performed. Who were your employers? After waiting on tables throughout college, none. 6) Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense (such as speeding)? If the answer is yes, please describe the circumstances and the outcome. No. 7) Have you personally ever been the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit? If the answer is yes, please explain the circumstances and the outcome of the case. Only divorce proceedings. About your practice of law: 8) Please describe your practice as a lawyer. Be specific. Describe the areas of your practice and your specialties. If, over time, your practice has evolved or changed, describe the changes. Describe your various client bases as a part of your answer. My first job when I finished law school was working for Legal Services, first at the Consumer Law Center in Boston, and then at Durham Legal Aid. In 1977, I “hung out a shingle” in downtown Raleigh, and began what became more than twenty years of small- firm civil and criminal law. Not long after I opened my practice, I began representing textile workers all over the state who had lung trouble from breathing cotton dust. Between then and 2001, when I went to the Court of Appeals (having been elected in 2000), I handled a wide variety of cases for clients all over the state, in civil cases of many kinds, criminal cases from traffic tickets to capital murder, family law issues and numerous workers’ compensation and employment cases. I handled cases at all levels of trial and appeal in all courts, state and federal, and did a great deal of appellate work (at least 200 appeals), including arguing in the state Supreme Court more than fifty times. Except for three and one-half years as an Assistant Appellate Defender, my entire law practice career was in the private sector representing individuals. In that practice, I litigated as well as managed the law practice, while providing jobs and making payroll every month. 9) If you have been a member of an appellate division court, please choose two decisions you have written for the court which you feel best illustrate your learning, values, skills, outlook, and temperament as a jurist. If the decisions are published, you may simply cite them here.
  3. 3. 3    If a decision you have selected is unpublished, please provide us with a copy. Please explain why you selected these decisions and tell us how they demonstrate your particular fitness to hold the judicial office you are seeking. In almost fourteen years as an appellate judge – six on the Court of Appeal and now more than seven on the Supreme Court – I have written hundreds of decision and decided thousands of cases. I hesitate to point to particular opinions because my record of service as a whole is the best demonstration of my commitment to fairness as a judge, and of my determination to maintain high quality scholarship and reasoning. Just as examples, I would draw your attention to Hest Technologies v. State of NC et. al. (Dec. 2012, unanimous opinion upholding law restricting video sweepstakes machines), Mehaffey v. Burger King (Nov. 2013, majority opinion upholding award of attendant care payments to spouse of injured worker), and to my dissenting opinion in Dickson v. Rucho (Jan 2013, addressing interpretation of public records law to redistricting law). 10) If you have not been a member of an appellate division court, please describe your practice in that division. Please provide us with the citations to two appellate decisions in cases in which you advocated as lead attorney for one of the parties. The decisions you choose should best illustrate the learning, values, skills, outlook, and temperament you would bring to the court as the holder of the judicial office you seek. If a decision you have chosen is unpublished, please provide us with a copy. Please also provide us with a copy of a portion of the brief written by you that demonstrates your advocacy in one or both of the decisions you have selected. Explain why you selected these decisions. Not applicable. 11) Please describe the nature and extent of any pro bono work you have done. Is there a pro bono matter to which you have contributed that best illustrates your values as a lawyer and you as a person? For most of my law practice years, including at least 1980 through 2000, I served on several community nonprofit boards that addressed a variety of issues. If we have an interview I’ll be happy to discuss my significant pro bono work in more detail. Concerning law and policy: As a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court, I offer one commitment to the persons, businesses, and communities who bring cases before me for resolution. The only promise I make is that I will be fair and act in accordance with my oath as a judge, to apply the law to the facts in each case, without favoritism to any. Because I am a Justice and not a policy- maker, I do not make statements regarding “law and policy,” as your questions 12-18 request. When a legal matter comes before me on the court, those who have issues at stake -- often a very great deal at stake – do not want or expect to encounter a judge who has preconceived
  4. 4. 4    opinions. Instead, they deserve a judge who does not bring a personal bias or a political ideology into the courtroom. My job as a judge is not to make public policy or to hold opinions about public policy. That’s the job of those in the political branches of government -- the legislative and the executive branches. Rather, my job is to decide cases, which are the disputes that people bring before our court. I work as hard as I can to apply the laws passed by the legislature, and to make sure those laws are within the constraints of the North Carolina and Unites States Constitutions. I do not believe that we as judges are to read words into the laws that were not written by the legislature, nor are we to read words out that are plainly there. 12) What are your views on the death penalty and the way death penalty cases are handled in North Carolina? As a matter of the administration of justice, what should the courts and legislature do about the death penalty? The legislature has decided that in North Carolina we have a death penalty. My task as a member of the judiciary is to make sure that all requirements of the law and Constitutions are followed. Beyond that, please see above statement. 13) Do you perceive any racial discrimination in the criminal justice system? If your answer is yes, what should be done to combat it? In the United States, and here in the South, we continue to deal with our history of racial discrimination, in many parts of our system, including the criminal justice system. We have to be vigilant, as members of the judiciary, to address those issues when they come before us, so that we continue to make progress in combatting racial discrimination. Beyond that, please see above statement. 14) What are your views on the rights (including whether any such rights exist) of homosexual persons to marry? Did you vote for or against Amendment One? Issues are pending in various state and federal courts on these matters, and judges are not permitted to comment on matters in pending litigation; and please see above statement. 15) In your view, should citizens be required to provide elections officials with some form of official identification before they are allowed to vote? Please see answer to #14 above, and refer to above statement. 16) Has the federal Voting Rights Act run its course in North Carolina? Please explain your answer. Please see answer to #14, and refer to above statement.
  5. 5. 5    17) In its recent decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, did the United States Supreme Court signal a change in its approach to zoning and land use regulation? Please explain your answer. Please see above statement. 18) In your view, should state agencies with licensing, environmental protection, consumer protection, or similar functions make the final decisions in enforcement or other contested cases or should the final decisions in such matters be made by administrative law judges? What should North Carolina’s law and policy be with regard to the deference courts afford regulatory agencies? What should our state’s law and policy be with regard to who is an “aggrieved person” in cases environmental law violations? Please see above statement. Your politics: 19) How are you registered to vote? Have you ever changed your registration? If you have changed your voter registration, please explain why. I am a registered Democrat and always have been. 20) For whom did you vote in the 2008 and 2012 presidential and gubernatorial elections? I am running in a nonpartisan race for re-election as Justice on the state Supreme Court. This question has no application to how I do my job. 21) Have you ever been active in the campaign of a candidate for elective office (by active we mean acted as campaign manager, treasurer, or paid staff, or contributed more than $2,000)? If the answer is yes, please identify the candidate or candidates and the offices they sought. Only in my own races for the Court of Appeals in 2000, and the state Supreme Court in 2006.
  6. 6. Robin E. Hudson Associate Justice Early Years Born in DeKalb County, Georgia in 1952, Robin E. Hudson moved to Greensboro, NC with her family in 1966. Personal Information Married, with two grown children. Educational Background Graduate of Page Senior High School, Greensboro, 1969. Graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a BA degree in philosophy and psychology. Received J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1976. Professional Background Admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1976 and practiced law in Raleigh and Durham until her election to the Court of Appeals in November 2000. She is the first North Carolina woman elected to the appellate court division without having been appointed first. She served on the NC Court of Appeals from January 2001 until December 2006. During that time, she helped organize and coordinate the Court of Appeals voluntary mediation program. She began her 8-year term on the Supreme Court in January 2007. Except for 3 years as assistant appellant defender in the mid-1980's, she practiced law in the private sector and handled a variety of trials and appeals, but concentrated on workers' compensation and tort litigation, with particular emphasis on occupational diseases and products liability. She practiced extensively before the Industrial Commission, as well as in State and Federal courts. Since 1994, she has been certified to mediate cases from Superior Court and the Industrial Commission. Professional Organizations Member of the founding steering committee for the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys in 1978; member Wake Women Attorneys. Member of the North Carolina Bar Association and various committees, including Litigation Section Council; Wake County Bar Association. Member North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers. Member of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1978-2001. Presenter at numerous Continuing Legal Education programs. Member, National Association of Women Judges, American Bar Association Appellate
  7. 7. Judges Conference. North Carolina Judicial Conference, Treasurer since 2002. Sir Walter Cabinet, life member; member various community organizations. Boards And Commissions Member, Women’s Forum of North Carolina since 2001, Board member and Secretary 2004-05. Member Board of Governors of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1993-99, and chair, Workers' Compensation section, 1993-98. Member, Family Court Advisory Committee since 2001. Appointed to the NC Industrial Commission Advisory Council in 1994 and served until December 2000. Appointed by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., as chair of the NC OSHA Review Board, 1994- 99. Reappointed to board 1999, resigned upon joining the Court of Appeals. Hobbies Tennis, running, reading, cooking, gardening, and traveling with family.