Today is the 246th anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and All Things Judicial takes a deep-dive into the history, story, and controversy surrounding this event. In this episode, Chief Justice Paul Newby shares the origins of our rights and liberties contained in America's founding documents, and Robert Ryals takes listeners on a tour of Charlotte's Liberty Walk to visit historical locations around the Queen City. In addition, author and attorney Scott Syfret discusses the controversy surrounding the declaration and its impact on North Carolina and the city of Charlotte over the years.
"The 'shot heard round the world' is the fact that our rights don't come from King George. Our rights come from a higher source," Chief Justice Newby said in the podcast. "That's the beauty of our system where we say our rights come from God, our creator, that all are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness."
Chief Justice Paul Newby is the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Chief Justice Newby was first elected to the Supreme Court as associate justice in 2004 and was elevated to the highest judicial office in North Carolina in the 2020 election. In addition to his service on the court, he is an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law, where he teaches courses on state constitutional law and appellate practice. He is the co-author of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2nd ed. 2013) with Professor John V. Orth of the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Robert Ryals is a docent for the Mecklenburg Historical Association. He specializes in creating and delivering interpretive talks and educational programs for historical venues and organizations throughout metropolitan Charlotte.
Scott Syfert is a corporate attorney in Charlotte and cofounder of the May 20th Society, which is dedicated to commemorating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He is the author of the books, The First American Declaration of Independence? and Eminent Charlotteans.
All Things Judicial is a podcast about the important role of the North Carolina Judicial Branch in state government. The podcast follows a bi-monthly release schedule with each new episode available for download every other Wednesday and can be found on all podcast apps and on NCcourts.gov.