Today, Justice Michael Morgan announced that he will be stepping down from his seat on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, effective the week of September 4.

This announcement comes following Justice Morgan’s recent pronouncement that he is considering a run for governor. According to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge cannot run for a non-judicial office unless he has resigned from his judicial position. N.C. Code of Jud. Conduct, Cannon 7 (B)(6).

Resigning the week of September 4 means that Justice Morgan will stay on through the Supreme Court’s next anticipated release date of September 1. Since the Supreme Court rarely hears oral argument or holds conferences during the summer months, the first release day of the fall typically heralds a significant amount of opinion and petition decisions. With Justice Morgan’s resignation, appellate practitioners can hope for even more than usual, as departing Justices labor to release every opinion assigned to them before they leave.

It is yet unknown who will replace Justice Morgan. Governor Cooper will have the opportunity to appoint a replacement, who will then have to run in the 2024 election if they wish to keep their seat. For the sake of the nominee and their poor clerks—who will have mere weeks to prepare for a double oral argument calendar beginning on Tuesday, September 12—let’s hope the nomination comes sooner rather than later.

Justice Morgan has served on the Supreme Court since 2016, following over two decades of judicial service at the trial level. I had the honor of serving with Justice Morgan during my clerkship with Justice Barringer and know him to be an incredibly kind and thoughtful jurist. Even more than the eloquent vocabulary and impeccable attire which was his calling card, the courtesy he showed to every individual in the Court will not soon be forgotten.