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Today’s News & Observer reports that Court of Appeals Judge Cressie Thigpen’s imminent departure from the bench has led to a cancellation of  this week’s oral arguments:

There’s an unexpected reshuffling of the calendar at the state Court of Appeals. All of the hearings that were scheduled for this week have been postponed, to be re-scheduled later.

It’s apparently because Judge Cressie Thigpen lost his bid for re-election this month and can’t take on new cases. He was the only judge among the three incumbents running who lost. Thigpen will be replaced by Chris Dillon in January.

Well, not exactly.  Of the seven cases scheduled for argument this week, only the one case on which Judge Thigpen was scheduled to sit is being rescheduled, according to Clerk of Court John Connell — the rationale being that Thigpen should not hear argument on a case in which he’d be unable to deliberate and render a decision at a later date.

The rest of the Court’s calendar remains unchanged.

Thigpen was also scheduled to hear one of the four cases set for argument in December.  Connell said that it was unclear yet what the court would do with that argument, either reschedule or reconfigure the three-judge panels so that argument could proceed on the scheduled date.

As for those cases on which Judge Thigpen sat that are still awaiting a decision: “They’ll get those done,” Connell said.