In a closed-door fundraiser on Saturday, Paul Newby, a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice endorsed by Lt. Governor Dan Forest, echoed Trump’s line of racist remarks on four U.S. Congresswomen of color, saying “I will buy you a ticket to leave. I mean just leave.”
Newby’s remarks came just days before Donald Trump’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where he was met with chants of “send her back,” in reference to his high-profile attacks on freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this week, the first Somali-born American in history elected to U.S. Congress.
It remains unclear whether Forest — who is anticipated to run for Governor of North Carolina — will disavow Newby after the remarks, but it is unlikely.
The two share a history together in North Carolina politics, and in recent weeks, Forest himself spouted much of the same racist rhetoric as the embattled supreme court justice.
According to reporting by Think Progress, in a sermon as part of a “Celebrate America” service in June 2019, Forest denounced multiculturalism and diversity in the United States, and called for Christian assimilation.
“[N]o other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics,” Forest claimed. “But no other nation has ever been founded on the principles of Jesus Christ, that begin the redemption and reconciliation through the atoning blood of our savior.”
In 2012, Newby donated $500 to Forest’s campaign for Lt. Governor of North Carolina.
And this year, Forest returned the favor.
After emphatically backing Newby’s bid for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Forest attacked Governor Roy Cooper after his refusal to appoint Newby to the position.
“It is disappointing that Governor Cooper has decided to not appoint the most-experienced Associate Justice to serve as the new Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Forest said on his campaign website in February 2019. “Those who claim that partisan political considerations should not be considered when judges are selected are now applauding a purely partisan decision on who should be the next Chief Justice.”
Newby’s remarks served as a stunning sign of how right-wing partisanship and racism has seeped into judicial races.
“There’s something uncomfortable about it,” former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr said to WRAL.com. “I’m sure people would say that’s not really what you should say.”