A couple weeks ago, the state's NAACP chapter highlighted the dearth of black judges on the federal bench in North Carolina.
"It is an obscenity that there has never been an African-American federal judge in the Eastern District, where roughly half of North Carolina's African American population resides," state NAACP President William Barber wrote in a letter sent to U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, who make judicial recommendations to the president.
The NAACP wants to see a black district court judge appointed -- but that doesn't mean a black judge doesn't sit on the Eastern District bench.
Federal Magistrate Judge William Webb, a Raleigh resident, is a member of the court. Webb, who was appointed in 1999, previously served as deputy secretary in the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
In an interview, Barber said the letter was designed to highlight the appointment process of district court judges, particularly because they handle civil rights matters.
He said the organization didn't tally the racial breakdown of other judges. "The context of the news release was very specific," Barber said.