RALEIGH – Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) announced a few weeks ago that he would not seek to continue as N.C. House Minority Leader for the 2021-2022 legislative session after two terms in that role. Now we know why.
After serving six terms representing portions of Wake County, Jackson is being appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals by Governor Roy Cooper. The vacancy is left by Republican Phil Berger Jr., who won a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court.
The statement from the Office of Governor Roy Cooper plays up Jackson’s legal experience, while signaling his judicial approach in the language of justice:
“[…] “Darren Jackson has spent his legal career fighting for a more fair and just North Carolina,” Governor Cooper said. “His decades of experience as a lawyer and elected public servant have prepared him for the bench, and I’m grateful for his willingness to continue serving our state with honor.”
Jackson has spent the past twelve years serving as a Representative in the North Carolina General Assembly, where he recently served two terms as the minority leader along with serving on the North Carolina Sentencing Commission and the North Carolina Courts Commission.
Additionally, Jackson has practiced criminal and civil cases with Gay, Jackson & McNally law firm for 24 years. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Wake County Bar Association, 10th Judicial District Bar Association, and the North Carolina Advocates of Justice, and has served several civic boards and committees throughout his career. Jackson earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.”
Although Jackson, a Democrat, will be replacing Berger, a Republican, it hardly makes up for the losses Democrats were dealt in 2020 judicial elections. The N.C. Court of Appeals, and the N.C. Supreme Court races were swept by Republicans to reclaim lost ground on the State’s high courts.
As minority leader, Jackson presided over an opposition to Republicans during the redistricting saga and readily adopted the Left’s talking points, including the anti-Republican smears of attributed racist motivations to nearly everything Republicans did.
While an all around nice guy, by most accounts, his partisan history gives reason to believe Jackson will work toward the same legislative ends from the bench. After years of frustrating weakness as a minority, hopefully Jackson doesn’t make rulings to achieve from the judiciary what he couldn’t achieve in the legislature.