Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.
The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings or court houses.
What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?
As with Question 3 above, the Code of Judicial Conduct prevents me from answering questions concerning matters that may come before me as a judge.
Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.
George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.
What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?
The Founders were leery of the accumulation of governmental powers and functions in one person, or one branch. As Madison stated in Federalist 51, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." Therefore, the "auxiliary precautions" of specifically defined, separate, and limited powers were seen as necessary to constraining government and preventing tyranny.
Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.
I am a Christian, and believe that Jesus, the son of God, was sent to save mankind. While we all fall short of the glory of God, we may receive eternal life if we believe in Christ. My personal relationship with Jesus provides guidance, support, comfort, and peace. It is this relationship that has given me the foundation for my values and beliefs. I find great strength in Joshua 1:9, and knowing that God is with me in every endeavor.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges allowing members of the same sex to marry, which justice’s opinion in that case most closely approximates your understanding of marriage?
Justice Samuel Alito's
I voted in these primaries and general elections:
2012 Republican Primary, 2012 General Election, 2014 Republican Primary, 2014 General Election, 2016 Republican Primary, 2016 General Election, 2018 Republican Primary, 2018 General Election
When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?
Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.
You can visit and review the content on my Facebook page: PhilForNC. Please "Like" the page if the content is consistent with your values and beliefs. I would also encourage you to read my bio and judicial opinions online at nccourts.org.
What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?
My work as a judge on the Court of Appeals and as an Administrative Law Judge qualify me to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina. It is not just that I have held those positions, but the work I have done while there. I have a record of applying the law as written, being consistent, and not legislating from the bench. However, my experience as a prosecutor sets me apart. There are no former elected District Attorneys serving on, or running for, the Supreme Court of North Carolina. That type of real-world experience would be valuable, not only for the Court, but for the people of North Carolina.
In what areas of law have you practiced?
Family law, juvenile law, and will preparation in private practice. Criminal law as District Attorney. I handled administrative appeals as an Administrative Law Judge, and virtually every practice area as a judge on the Court of Appeals.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?
My wife Jodie and I have been married for 24 years. We met at UNC-Wilmington more than 27 years ago. We have been blessed with two great kids, Philip III (19) and Will (16), and 2 dogs, Mollie and Maple.
The U.S. Constitution and my state constitution should be interpreted as living documents, rather than using a strict constructionist or originalist approach in judicial decisions.
There are times when American judges should alter U.S. case law in order to comply with foreign case law.
I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.
There should be more than nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Which current U.S. Supreme Court justice best reflects your judicial philosophy?
Which U.S. president serving after 1960 best reflects your political philosophy?
What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?
Judges should look to and rely on the plain language of a relevant statute when applying the law. We should only look to legislative history when a statute is ambiguous. Unfortunately, many judges find or create ambiguity in statutes when there is none. This is a form of judicial activism that allows judges to substitute their will for that of the legislators.
What specific text in the Declaration of Independence provides the critical basis for individual rights and the form of government guaranteed in the United States Constitution?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed[.]"