One of North Carolina Supreme Court’s 2 Democrats announces plans to step down

Michael Morgan has announced plans to step down as a North Carolina Supreme Court justice. Morgan’s exit would leave only one other Democrat on the high court.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan — one of only two Democrats on the high court— announced Thursday that he’ll be stepping down at the beginning of next month.

Morgan declined to outline his future plans Thursday but told WRAL-TV that he still has “a desire to make a difference in the state of North Carolina” and that “after I get off the court, I can focus on how that might best be accomplished.”

Morgan said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he plans to step down the week of Sept. 4. Leaving that week will give the governor time to appoint a replacement ahead of the scheduled Sept. 12 arguments.


“With the help of my outstanding staff, all of my opinions and assignments have been completed as the Court acts on them and concludes its current cycle in the coming days,” he said.

The Democrat from New Bern, who has held his seat since 2017, had announced previously that he would not seek reelection to the state Supreme Court, where Republicans hold a 5-2 majority.

Morgan is 67 years old and would only be allowed to serve half of the eight-year term if he was reelected because the mandatory retirement age for North Carolina judges is 72.

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WRAL-TV reported in June that Morgan had said he was “seriously considering” running for governor in 2024.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited and cannot run for reelection. Attorney General Josh Stein is the only prominent Democrat who has enter the race to succeed Cooper.

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