Under the Dome

Bob Edmunds

Office District Status
Associate Justice Statewide Incumbent
Party In Office Since Term Ends
Republican 2001 2016
Level of Government  
N.C. Supreme Court  
Date of Birth Birthplace Now Lives In
April 17, 1949 Danville, VA Greensboro, NC


Bob Edmunds has had a varied career in the law. He has worked as a private attorney, a local prosecutor, a U.S. Attorney and an Appeals Court judge. Since 2001, he has been an Associate Justice on the N.C. Supreme Court. He was re-elected in 2008.


An astronomy buff, he keeps an eight-inch telescope.



Marital Status
Two sons, Rusty and Ted

Bob Edmunds is an Associate Justice on the N.C. Supreme Court.

Early Life and Education

Robert Holt Edmunds Jr. was born on April 17, 1949, to Robert Sr. and Mary Rucker Edmunds in Danville, Va. His father owned a metal fabrication company in Greensboro; his mother was a housewife who volunteered in historic preservation.

He graduated from Woodberry Forest School, a boy's boarding school in Virginia, in 1967.

He then studied at Williams College in Massachusetts for two years, making the Dean's List.

He earned a bachelor of arts in English from Vassar College in New York in 1971. He graduated with honors.

Afterward, he worked in Poughkeepsie for a year.  

He then earned a law degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 1975.

In 2004, he earned a master of laws in judicial process from the University of Virginia.

Military Service

He was an ensign in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1977. 

Professional Career

From 1978 to 1982, he served as assistant district attorney in the 18th Judicial District in Guilford County. He began work prosecuting traffic offenses and was later assigned to the felony career criminal prosecution unit.

From 1982 to 1986, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, responsible for coordinating investigations on drug trafficking, fraud, bank robbery and other federal offenses.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. He continued in that position through the administration of President George H.W. Bush in 1989, serving until 1993.

From 1993 to 1998, he worked as a lawyer in private practice, handling state and federal criminal defense work. He also handled capital defenses cases.

He was board certified by the N.C. State Bar in state and federal criminal law in 1993 and criminal appellate practice in 1994.

Political Career

In 1996, he ran for state attorney general, losing to incumbent Mike Easley. He later joked that Easley beat him "like a rented mule."

From 1999 to 2001, he served as an associate judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals.

In 2001, he was elected an associate justice on the N.C. Supreme Court, defeating incumbent Justice Franklin Freeman, a Democrat.

He was elected as a Republican, though the office is now nonpartisan. 

He wrote the majority opinion in Goldston v. State of North Carolina, which allowed taxpayers to sue the state for using Highway Trust Fund money for purposes other than roads.

2008 Campaign

On Oct. 22, 2007, he announced he would run for re-election.

He defeated Wake Forest University law professor Suzanne Reynolds, a Democrat.

Research and reporting by Ryan Teague Beckwith. 


Associate Justice
N.C. Supreme Court

Community Involvement:
Not specified.

Contact Info

N.C. Supreme Court
P.O. Box 2170, Raleigh, N.C. 27602-2170


bachelor of arts
Vassar College
Graduated: 1971
juris doctorate
UNC-Chapel Hill
Graduated: 1975
master of laws
University of Virginia
Graduated: 2004


Not specified.
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