Who is calling the shots in Justice Brady’s chambers?

A few weeks ago I fretted that law clerk Steven Walker could ride his favorable ballot placement and right wing ties to a seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Walker won his primary battle and now faces only incumbent Judge Rick Elmore.

Again, Walker recently graduated from Campbell law school and has no legal experience other than serving as a research assistant. That Walker would run shows complete disregard for the Court of Appeals as an institution. It’s as if he is saying that serving as a judge is so easy an intern could do it.

Why does Walker think he is qualified?

Here’s what he told WRAL:

I’m doing what I would be doing there. You read the law. You look at the facts of the case. You apply the facts of the case to the law. Then you come to the conclusion that you have.

Right, except that’s not what a clerk is supposed to be doing. A clerk conducts research and gives an experienced judge a briefing on the facts and what previous courts have said about similar cases. A judge or justice then uses the clerk’s research along with personal knowledge and experience and the arguments from other chambers to reach a considered decision.

So this begs the question: who is making decisions in Justice Brady’s chambers? If Justice Brady is making his own decisions, then it’s far from true that Walker is doing the work of a judge now. If Walker is telling the truth, then it raises some serious ethical questions. Justice Brady should never simply delegate decision making authority to a research assistant fresh out of school.

So, Justice Brady, who is calling the shots for you at the Supreme Court?


thanks for this post

Walker apparently has been telling GOP voters that if the legality of health insurance reform every comes before him he will gun it down on the spot.

No word on his position on Mars exploration, unfortunately.

I doubt that.

I think that rumor is nonsense. I've heard him speak, and I've spoken with him. I was impressed. Steve Walker is way too bright to say something so foolish.


If I had made those kinds of comments

while i was clerking for Judge Britt, he'd have fired me on the spot.

Mr. Walker needs to learn the difference between writing a draft and making a decision. He does the first one. The judge does the latter.

Moreover, I would be more comfortable with a Court of Appeals judge who had been in a courtroom in which he was allowed to speak.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Campbell is a damn good law

Campbell is a damn good law school.........but it's not that damn good! Let's hope cooler heads will prevail come November.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Campbell is Art Pope's friend

Which wouldn't necessarily mean it's not a damn good law school ...

There is a College Democrats

There is a College Democrats club there. There are professors and other staff members there that aren't far right and some are even Democrats. The law school has graduated a number of outstanding attorney's including Elaine Marshall. Yes it is generally speaking a very conservative environment but individuals are individuals not sheep. Campbell has always been known as being very aggressive in chasing the money so I would advise any caring children and grandchildren to toss letters to their elderly family members from Campbell it the trash and screen all calls, or risk seeing all or most of their inheritance gone in no time. They are very good at that. In fact I have to wonder who is actually using who when it comes to Campbell and Pope.

ps Campbell has traditionally had the highest passing rate for the bar exam in the state, regularly beating out UNC and Duke. One year they had a 100% pass rate.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Good info

I got no business ragging on conservative schools. Heck, I went to the Naval Academy.

Truth is, I admire Pope's strategy Wish I could emulate it.

Tough school

I attended the Ft. Bragg campus, but Campbell periodically rotated professors there from the main campus, so we got a pretty good taste. But it was uber-conservative, even back in the Eighties.

The best teacher I ever had was my English Comp professor, who had his tenure blocked and was transferred (permanently) to my school, because he was gay. Their loss, frankly. He was a fricking genius. He took me from scribbling barely intelligible dreck to writing decent prose in less than six months.

I never attended Campbell but

I never attended Campbell but my brother made it through maybe one and a half semesters before flunking out and going to heavy equipment school. Now he's worth more than most Campbell and Harvard graduates. :>) Clyde Edgerton was once a professor at Campbell. Then his first novel, "Rainy" was published. They were offended but for the life of me I'm hard pressed to figure out what offended them. He didn't get tenure either, went on to St. Andrews and then to Duke. He takes his shot at his old employer with, "Killer Diller" written years later.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

I hear Harvard is also a

I hear Harvard is also a pretty damn good law school! We all need to work for Elmore now.

QSL card

I've had a ham radio license since 1964. When hams talk to each other via short wave radio, they exchange postcards called QSL cards via snail mail. I got a nice QSL postcard from Walker the week before the election touting his hobby. It was sent to a mailing list of hams I could tell. He's obviously a versatile campaigner.

UPDATE: Justice Brady is also an amateur radio operator:

Additionally, Justice Brady is a General class licensed amateur radio operator W4ETB and has been awarded the Century Club VHF/UHF designation

It's called brown-nosing

As in: Walker had to have his head surgically removed from Justice Brady's arse before he could fly away from that cozy butt-nest and pursue his own career.