RALEIGH – The freedom to vote or even run for office are liberties that many of us may take for granted here in the United States. Less likely to take those things in particular for granted may be N.C. Court of Appeals candidate Judge Jefferson Griffin. Griffin, a Republican vying for a seat on the State’s second highest court in 2020, in addition to being a district court judge, is also a Captain in the North Carolina Army National Guard as a JAG Officer.
Despite the best laid plans, it’s the latter role, not the campaign and hearing cases, that Griffin will be focused on for the foreseeable future; he is one of about 4,500 soldiers getting deployed to the Middle East.
From an email to campaign supporters, Judge Griffin writes:
“It is with mixed emotions that I share this update with you: I, along with nearly 4,500 of my fellow soldiers, are set to deploy with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team to the Middle East in the coming weeks.
As a JAG officer, my primary responsibility during the deployment will be to maintain the rule of law, provide answers regarding the rules of engagement in the region, and aid in the administration of military justice.
Our National Guard’s motto “Always Ready, Always There!” is one that I have taken to heart. While I look forward to the opportunity to serve, protect, and defend our homeland abroad, I will greatly miss my wife Katye, I will miss hearing cases in the courtroom, and of course, I will miss North Carolina’s hunting season.
I am proud to report that we have assembled a tremendous staff who are prepared to run our campaign for the North Carolina Court of Appeals in my absence. […]”
Griffin will be doing his best to uphold the rule of law halfway across the world in a place in which the rule of law usually places a distant third to the rule of brute force, or the rule of theocratic dogma.
It’s not the campaign experience he imagined, but one he knew he had to be ready and there for.