By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
MORRISVILLE — With her eye on a second eight-year term on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Judge Ann Marie Calabria still sees much work to be done, especially when it comes to North Carolina’s young people.
“My two greatest concerns are protecting children, especially abused and neglected children, and preventing recidivism in juvenile cases,” said the longtime jurist. A 1983 graduate of Campbell University School of Law, she is certified as a Juvenile Court Judge and uses her expertise to help train other judges, court counselors and social workers.
“My goal is to decrease the number of appeals while expediting the process of providing safe homes for children,” she said. “I have been involved with the Court Improvement Project for the Administrative Office of the Courts in several capacities over the last 10 years as a volunteer.”
As Chairperson of the Juvenile Outreach Literacy Team, she facilitates direct, one-on-one tutoring for students ages 6 to 17 at the Juvenile Literacy Center at the Wake County Courthouse.
During the last seven years on the Court of Appeals, Calabria has authored some 800 opinions and heard more than 2,400 appellate cases. Prior to that, as a district court judge, she handled more than 50,000 civil, criminal and juvenile cases.
She has also served as a mediator and as an attorney in private practice.
Throughout her career, Calabria says her judicial philosophy has rested on the “bedrock of the Constitution which established a government of limited powers.”
She said judges have an “important but limited role: protecting individual liberty, applying the law fairly, and recognizing the authorities, responsibilities and limits on each branch of government.”
A self-defined “Constitutionalist” who lists Antonin Scalia as her favorite judge and Ronald Reagan as her hero, Calabria has a track record that shows she isn’t afraid to stand alone in defense of that Constitution. When the Wake County Taxpayers, the N.C. Family Policy Council and others filed suit against the state over the Lottery Act, the Court of Appeals held that the Act was constitutional.
“I was the only judge who disagreed. In my dissent, I stated that the General Assembly violated the North Carolina Constitutional requirements for enacting a revenue bill,” Calabria said.
A member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary, Judge Calabria said that Micah 6:8 is a verse that she often refers to: “What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”
“As a Christian, I believe that it is my duty to love God and to love my neighbor as myself. As a judge, I must respect the Constitution and interpret the law in a fair and impartial manner. I have never experienced a conflict between these two obligations,” she said.
To find out more about Judge Ann Marie Calabria, log onto www.judgecalabria.com.