INSTITUTE INDEX: New N.C. Supreme Court chief justice makes history

Cheri Beasley will become North Carolina's first black woman Supreme Court chief justice in March. (Photo of her speaking at a 2015 event at Wake Forest University School of Law is from the school's Flickr page.)

Date on which Justice Cheri Beasley, a former public defender, will become the first black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court: 3/1/2019

Of the seven seats on the N.C. Supreme Court, number held by black justices: 3

Number held by black women: 2

Of the 13 Southern states, number that will have chief justices who are black once Beasley takes office: 5*

Number that will have chief justices who are black women: 2**

Besides North Carolina, number of Southern states that will have chief justices who are former public defenders: 0

Year in which Beasley became the first black woman elected to statewide office in North Carolina without having been first appointed by the governor: 2008

Year in which North Carolina's Republican-controlled legislature ended the judicial public financing program she used in her run for the court: 2013

Year in which Beasley was re-elected after lamenting the program's repeal, stating, "Justice ought not be for sale": 2014

Number of times Beasley dissented when the court's former conservative majority upheld 2011 redistricting maps that federal courts found to be racially discriminatory: 2

As of 2017, percent of state supreme court judges nationwide who were black women: 1.7

Of all state appellate judges nationwide, percent who are women of color: 8

Date on which the first black woman to serve as chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court retired: 1/7/2019

Number of black justices who now sit on Florida's seven-member high court: 0

Percent of Florida's population that's black: almost 17

Of President Trump's more than 150 federal judicial nominees, number who are black: 3

Number who are black women: 0

Number of seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority, that are on the ballot in next year's election, including Beasley's: 3

* Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
** Louisiana and North Carolina

(Click on figure to go to source.)