Published 3:48 am Saturday, October 11, 2008
Promises he won’t legislate from the bench
By TED STRONG
Dan Barrett got his walking in the last time he ran for public office.
The candidate for one of the seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals walked across the state in 2004 as part of a run for the governor’s mansion.
In his bid for a seat on the court, the lawyer from Davie County said he has taken a more conventional approach, pushing himself as a candidate with a conservative judicial philosophy and a desire to speed up the court.
Appeals judges sometimes take as long as a year to reach decisions, he said, inconveniencing those waiting on the outcome.
One audience member asked if Barrett could challenge decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States if he thought their decisions are clearly contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
Barrett said he couldn’t, but the candidate pointed out the importance of this year’s presidential contest.
He told the audience that presidential appointments to the highest bench in the nation, which are for life, can have long-lasting impacts on American jurisprudence.
Barrett also hit on a theme other judicial candidates have touched on — the obscurity of their electoral contests.
He reminded attendees that judicial races are nonpartisan, so those voting straight tickets won’t automatically select their parties’ candidates in those races. Instead, voters may manually make picks in those contests after voting straight tickets, he said.
Barrett, a graduate of Wake Forest University and a specialist in employment law, asked audience members to help as many people as possible have some idea who is running in the judicial contests.
While in Washington, Barrett also tried to boost word-of-mouth support as he toured the Beaufort County Courthouse, met with elected officials and visited downtown businesses.