On Monday, Judge Douglas McCullough of the North Carolina Court of Appeals resigned his seat. Some 36 days before he turned 72, which is the mandatory retirement age of the court. The reason, McCullough says was simple. "I retired at that time because I did not want my legacy to the court to be the elimination of my seat and the impairment of the court."
This all revolves around a new law passed by the GOP-controlled General Assembly. It seeks to reduce the number of Appeals Court Judges from 15 to 12. With the reductions happening when judges die, resign, retire, or are removed. But McCullough, a registered Republican, acted before the law took effect. Which allowed Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to appoint a Democrat to replace him.
For McCullough, this is not about the political persuasion of who replaces him. It's about what he watched as the law to shrink the court worked its way through the General Assembly.