Cooper now has 2 Court of Appeals vacancies as Hunter leaves

April 1, 2019 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A veteran jurist on North Carolina’s appeals courts is returning to private law practice with his age-mandated departure from the bench.

Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter’s retirement is effective Monday. State judges must step down at the end of the month they turn 72.

Hunter is a Greensboro attorney elected to the intermediate appeals court in 2008. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed the fellow Republican to the Supreme Court in 2014, but Hunter lost his election bid. McCrory returned Hunter to the Court of Appeals, and he was elected there again in 2016.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper now has two Court of Appeals seats to fill. Cooper also gets to pick Judge Mark Davis’ successor, since the governor named him to the Supreme Court. Davis’ public swearing-in ceremony is Wednesday.