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State Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson has announced that she will step down on Dec. 17, according to the News & Observer and WRAL.

Timmons-Goodson, the first African-American woman to serve on the court, was appointed in 2006 by then Gov. Mike Easley and re-elected to an eight-year term later that year.

Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, Timmons-Goodson was a Court of Appeals Judge  from 1997 to 2005.

She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, served as an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County from 1981 to 1983, and was then appointed to a district court judgeship and re-elected to that position in 1986, 1990 and 1994.

Gov. Beverly Perdue will appoint a successor, who will serve the remainder of Timmons-Goodson’s term, which runs through 2014.