Candidate Profile
Tamara Barringer

Republican , North Carolina


Tamara Barringer
Supreme Court Justice, Seat 4

Panel Rating*

Originalist Information icon *

*Additional information appears below for educational purposes; however, only data received prior to the candidate deadline was considered during Panel Evaluation.


Conservative Organizations

American Conservative Union (ACU), 2013:  100%
NC Values Coalition, 2017:  83%
National Federation of Independent Business NC, 2018:  75%
American Conservative Union Foundation NC (ACU), 2018:  60%, 73% (cum.)



Liberal Organizations

League of Conservation Voters NC, 2017-18:  50%, 26% (cum.)
American Civil Liberties Union NC (ACLU-NC), 2017-2018:  0%




*These endorsements were received after the deadline and were not considered in the Panel Evaluations and are for additional educational purposes only.


North Carolina Values Coalition


*North Carolina Troopers Association, Wake GOP

Selected Contributions


Committee to Elect Republican Women (2017), Local, County, and District Republican Organizations (2018), State Republican Party Organizations (2018)
Charles F. Fuller (2016), Committee to Elect Republican Women (2016), D. Craig Horn (2020), David Curtis (2020), Edgar V. Starnes (2018), Gregory F. Murphy (2020) and 16 more


National Association Of Social Workers (2016), North Carolina Advocates for Justice (2018), North Carolina Association of Educators (2015), North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare (2013), Service Employees International Union (2014)







Other Information

Judge Voter Guide gives this candidate a rating of 8 out of 10.


Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Religious Liberty

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Agree   

The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings or court houses.

Strongly Disagree   

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

As a strict Constitution constructionist, "separation of church and state" means exactly what it says in the U.S. Constitution and the N.C. Constitution, respectively: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." "All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience."


Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Strongly Agree   

George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.

Strongly Agree   

What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?

Unlimited or unchecked powers in the hands of one person or one central government will result in tyranny--the suppression of the rights of the people and loss of liberty. Our individual and collective liberties and legal rights can only be protected, and our elected officials are only truly accountable to the people, when governmental power is specifically defined, limited and subject to checks and balances between the State and Federal executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

As a Christian and Mother of three adopted children and a foster mom for over 10 years, I have dedicated much of my life to family and public service. After personally witnessing the crisis of children and unhealthy families in our failed foster care system, I felt compelled to run for the North Carolina Senate. In just over 6 years in the Senate, I authored and sponsored 32 bills which are now law. These bills, ranging from the Foster Care Family Act to the Business Court Modernization Act, ALL passed almost unanimously in both the House and Senate--receiving very broad bipartisan support across the ideological spectrum. I recognize that our strength as a State comes from the efforts of dedicated citizens and the rule of law, not from judges legislating from the bench.

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?

Chief Justice John Roberts


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.

I served as a North Carolina Senator for more than 6 years. My Senate record is publicly available.

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I will bring to the NC Supreme Court 35 years of legal experience as a practicing attorney, business law and ethics professor, former legislator, and adoptive and foster parent. As the first person in my family to attend college, I graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill Business School with Highest Honors and the UNC School of Law with Honors. For 20 years, I represented businesses and families in their business and tax matters. Since 1989, I have taught law and ethics to Master of Accounting students and Business Students at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State and Meredith College. As we rebuild our economy, North Carolina needs judges with practical experience who understand complex business and tax law. For 10 years, I served as a foster mom, and while in the Senate, I drafted and sponsored legislation to improve the lives of children, families in crisis, and the disabled. As NC families recover from the COVID pandemic, we need judges who understand health and human services law and policy.

In what areas of law have you practiced?

Corporations, Business, Tax, Child Welfare, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Real Property Law.

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?

I am most proud of the legislative work I did for children and families to modernize and improve the child protective services system to allow foster youth to remain with their foster families to age 21. Foster youth can now attend college or work force development programs rather than promptly falling back into the negative life of poverty and deprivation into which almost all were born. As all of our legislative work to support foster children and families in crisis became a national model, I was recognized by the National Conference of State Legislators as a Child Welfare Fellow, and received The National Foundation of Women Legislators’ Women of Excellence Award, Legislative Leadership Awards from both NC Child and Prevent Child Abuse, NC Legislator of the Year from Child Advocacy Centers of NC, and North Carolina’s Champions for Children Award from Children’s Hope Alliance and Benchmark.

Judicial Philosophy

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.

Strongly Disagree   

There are times when American judges should alter U.S. case law in order to comply with foreign case law.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

There should be more than nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Strongly Disagree   

Which current U.S. Supreme Court justice best reflects your judicial philosophy?

Although deceased, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Which U.S. president serving after 1960 best reflects your political philosophy?

President Ronald Reagan

What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?

Statutes should be applied literally. If the statutory language is clear, there is no need for interpretation. Legislative history is not relevant if the statutory language is clear. In the event of an irreconcilable ambiguity in the language of a statute, judges should consider legislative history with great skepticism, because legislative history is often unclear, incomplete, and not written with the same oversight, public comment, and attention to detail with which the statute in question was drafted.

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...."


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC, Juris Doctor with Honors, 1985
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, B.S. in Business Administration with Highest Honor, 1981
Work & Military
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, Clinical Professor of Legal Studies, 2012-present
  • Barringer Law Firm, LLP, Managing Partner, Practicing Attorney, 1988-2012
  • NC State University College of Management, Adjunct Professor of Business Law, 1989-1993
  • Meredith College Paralegal Program, Adjunct Professor of Business Law, 1989, 1991
  • First United Methodist Church, Cary, NC, Member
  • Methodist Home for Children, Therapeutic Foster Parent for 10 years
  • North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee, Chair
  • Southern Regional Educational Board, Executive Board & Board of Directors
  • NC Child Wellbeing Transformation Council, Chair
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, Child Welfare Fellow
  • Girl Scouts, Member 50 yrs, National Thanks Badge Award
  • Duke University North Carolina Leadership Forum, Steering Committee
  • North Carolina Senator, Held 2012-2018

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