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N.C. Supreme Court to convene here

The North Carolina Supreme Court will convene a session of court in Hendersonville as part of its bicentennial celebration.

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“The Supreme Court is celebrating its 200th anniversary next year in 2019 and so as part of the celebration they’re bringing the court to the people,” said Sharon Gladwell, the court’s communications director.
Under state law, the Supreme Court can meet in only two other cities outside of Raleigh — Edenton and Morganton. The General Assembly granted the Supreme Court’s request to allow the justices to convene in cities across the state this year and next.
The first of those is May 14 in Morganton, followed by Hendersonville on May 15 and Asheville on May 16.
The Board of Commissioners on Monday authorized the Supreme Court to use the upstairs courtroom of the Historic Courthouse. Commission Grady Hawkins noted a historic connection. Judge Leonard Henderson, for whom the county is named, was the second chief justice of the
The justices will hear two hour-long arguments — at 9:30 and 11 a.m.
“Attendees are welcome but by ticket only,” Gladwell said. “Justice Sam Ervin is setting up the civic education and they are using these court sessions primarily as a way to educate the people in the state about courts and their role in our communities. We’re leaving it up to each of the cities to decide how to pass out the tickets but we’re encouraging student participation, local universities and attorney bars.”
Anderson Ellis, president of the Henderson County Bar, said he began lobbying for a Supreme Court session hear as soon as he heard about the court’s bicentennial celebration.
“I was annoying probably,” he said. “I was persistently inviting them until finally they said, ‘If we’re going to go anywhere we might as well as go to Hendersonville.’”
Supreme Court personnel, county administrators, local judges and state and county law officers met here
on Jan. 30 to plan the day. There will be separate seatings for the first and second cases so the maximum number of people can attend. The plans now are to reserve roughly half the seats for students, including basic law enforcement training students at BRCC.
“This is great,” County Attorney Russ Burrell said. “I would have died to do this when I was in school.”

To request tickets write to County Attorney Russ Burrell, Suite 5, 1 Historic Courthouse Square, Hendersonville, N.C. 28792.