Chief Justice Cheri Beasley virtually delivered the 2020 State of the Judiciary address today during the North Carolina Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.
The meeting was held online to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Beasley’s address focused on the judicial branch’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the modernization of the courts through the eCourts initiative and a commitment to access to justice, fairness and impartiality.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges that the modern judiciary and our courts have never before faced, and calls for racial justice have gripped the nation’s attention,” Beasley said. “But challenging times also present opportunities. COVID-19 has required us to think creatively about improving the administration of justice in ways that even a year ago seemed impossible. The demonstrations happening in North Carolina and across the nation have given us the opportunity to confront disparities in our justice system and ensure that the people of this state have trust and confidence that courts are a place where every case is decided based on principles of law and justice free from bias.
“And so, while this is truly an unprecedented and stressful time for our entire Judicial Branch and for the Bar, it is also an immensely hopeful time.”
Beasley is the North Carolina Supreme Court’s first Black female Chief Justice. She was appointed to the helm by Gov. Roy Cooper over a year ago after former Chief Justice Mark Martin resigned. Watch her full address below.