North Carolina Appellate Court Judge Reuben Young made Asheville an important stop on his statewide re-election campaign.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals is the Tarheel State’s intermediate appellate court, above district courts and just below the state Supreme Court. Its 15 judges serve eight-year terms and hear cases in panels of three.
The court reviews the proceedings of trial courts for errors of law or legal procedures, and decides only questions of law in cases appealed from superior and district courts and from some administrative agencies of the Executive Branch. The role of the Court of Appeals is to decide if the trial court correctly applied the law, or if there was prejudicial error in the conduct of a trial.
Judge Reuben F. Young was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals on April 15, 2019, and was sworn in May 9. Now he is running for election to retain his seat for a full eight-year term.
Young is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, and the North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina. He began his legal career in Austin, Texas, where he worked in private practice and then as a prosecutor and assistant attorney general.
He returned to North Carolina in 1995 and spent six years with the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and in 2001, he joined the governor’s office, first as Deputy Legal Counsel, and then Chief Legal Counsel. He was also honored with the Distinguished Service Medal for his support of the NC National Guard.
Having also served as interim Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Judge Young has worked with state officials to enhance safety in prisons and improve the rehabilitation of offenders.
From 2009 to 2011, during the tenure of former governor Beverly Perdue, Young returned to the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and in 2013 was named the first Secretary of its successor agency, the newly consolidated Department of Public Safety.
Young served for five years as Special Superior Court Judge for the 10th Judicial District, and then he returned to the Department of Public Safety as its Interim Chief Secretary before being named to his Court of Appeals seat last spring. He defines his judicial philosophy succinctly. “It’s important to understand that we all have nuances in our lives, and you have to meet people where they are. You have to understand that we each are individuals and are not monolithic.”