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Without PrecedentThe Life of Susie Marshall Sharp$
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Anna R. Hayes

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832141

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807887813_hayes

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Appointment to Superior Court

Appointment to Superior Court

(p.129) Chapter 7 Appointment to Superior Court
Without Precedent

Anna R. Hayes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses Susie Sharp's appointment as the first woman judge in North Carolina, which owed as much to a quirky gubernatorial election in which the courthouse crowd backed the losing candidate as it did to Susie's exceptional qualifications. That the winner of that election, William Kerr Scott, was a showman and a populist who loved nothing better than shaking up the establishment certainly was a factor in Susie's appointment to the bench. Perhaps equally as important was Susie's alliance with her mentor and her father's old nemesis, Allen H. Gwyn. The explanation for Susie's success that Susie herself most often cited was that she simply was the right person in the right place at the right time. There was some truth to this theory, but as always, the full truth was a bit more complicated.

Keywords:   Susie Sharp, first woman judge, North Carolina, gubernatorial election, William Kerr Scott, Allen H. Gwyn

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