The Pulse

Civil rights attorney Allison Riggs tabbed for the state Court of Appeals

By: - December 15, 2022 4:30 pm
Attorney Allison Riggs, seen here in a screenshot from an NC Policy Watch interview, was appointed today to the state Court of Appeals by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Gov. Roy Cooper today appointed Allison Riggs, Co-Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Voting Rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to the state Court of Appeals. Riggs will serve the final two years of the term of Richard Dietz, who was elected to the state Supreme Court last month.

In making the announcement, Cooper lauded Riggs’ experience and intellect, saying in a press statement, “Allison Riggs is a brilliant attorney and an experienced litigator who has spent her career fighting for fairness and defending people’s constitutional rights. I am confident that she will continue to serve our state with distinction and be a great asset to the bench.”

Riggs has gained prominence in recent years as an outspoken critic of gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts and defender of the rights of racial minorities. She joined the Southern Coalition in 2009 under then executive director and founder Anita Earls. Earls was elected to the North Carolina Supreme Court in November 2018.

Riggs was among the attorneys who successfully represented Common Cause North Carolina in the state court case of Harper v. Hall that resulted in the North Carolina Supreme Court striking down the General Assembly’s unlawful gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. She also served as a member of the legal team that defended the ruling earlier this month when legislators appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case now known as Moore v. Harper.

Common Cause North Carolina executive director Bob Phillips, who has worked with Riggs for several years, lauded her selection.“Allison is an extraordinary attorney with true dedication to the law, justice and our constitution,” he said. “She has been a tireless advocate for protecting the rights of all North Carolinians, standing up for marginalized communities and holding those in power accountable to the people of our state. We congratulate Allison on joining the North Carolina Court of Appeals.”

Riggs’ co-executive director at the Southern Coalition, Ryan Roberson, expressed mixed emotions about the news. “It is with both joy and sadness that I congratulate Allison on this well-deserved appointment,” said Roberson. “I know she will continue to serve the citizens of North Carolina well from the bench. I also want to thank her for her years of service to SCSJ and her help growing the organization — it’s because of her work that we’ll be able to continue serving people all across the Southern United States.”

Click here to see Riggs’s remarks in a video of an August NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation event that explored the Moore v. Harper case.

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors regular commentaries, and hosts a weekly radio show/podcast.