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JUSTICE ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AND NEW POSITION
AT NC INSTITUTE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
FOR RELEASE AFTER 3:00 P.M.
Thursday, March 4, 2004
CONTACT
Bill Graham

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robert F. Orr announced today that he will retire from the Court later this summer. Orr said he would be leaving to take a position as the Executive Director/Senior Counsel Of the newly formed North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law

"While deciding to leave the Court was a difficult decision," Orr said, "I had a
strong interest in state constitutional law and the important role it has played in mat many of the major cases decided by the Supreme Court. The opportunity to have a role in developing and implementing the Institute mission in support of the principles and authority of the North Carolina Constitution was something I simply could not turn down."

Orr has served on the state's highest court since 1995 and prior to that served for eight and one-half years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He was elected to statewide office four times by the people of North Carolina–twice to the Court of Appeals and twice to the Supreme Court. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law in Asheville, North Carolina for eleven years.

"Normally an announcement such as this is made much closer to the actual retirement," Orr said. "However I wanted to give those individuals who would be interested in filling this position ample time to take the necessary steps to conduct a campaign for the seat." The vacancy would be ultimately filled by election in November of this year.

Justice Orr also added that the delay between announcing his plans to retire and his actual retirement was necessitated by his commitment to finish the cases previously assigned to him and for those cases he will be responsible for during the current term of court.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve as a judge for the past seventeen and one--half years," he said. "However, I believe this is the right decision for me at the right time. This move will provide new challenges and new ways to positively impact the law."


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