A special episode of All Things Judicial celebrates North Carolina Constitution Day by featuring excerpts of a discussion between Chief Justice Paul Newby and former University of North Carolina School of Law Professor John Orth on the history of the North Carolina Constitution. North Carolina Constitution Day is December 18, the anniversary of the day the first North Carolina constitution was ratified in 1776.
"The Greek philosopher Aristotle defined a 'constitution' as the 'arrangement of offices in a state' and that is essentially what the state constitution does in state government," said Orth on the podcast. "But that does not mention what we think of as so important which are the rights which are protected by, not created by, but protected by the state constitution."
"With regard to Professor Orth's question 'what is a constitution,' my response would simply be that it's a foundational social contract among 'we the people' with regard to the relationship between the people and government," said Newby on the podcast. "Particularly with regard to individual rights versus the government."