Rhoda Billings

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Rhoda Bryan Billings (born 1937) is an American lawyer and a former justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Billings earned her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1966. She served four years as a state District Court judge (1968–1972). Governor James G. Martin, a fellow Republican, appointed her to the North Carolina Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1985, after the resignation of Justice Earl W. Vaughn. When Chief Justice Joseph Branch retired, Martin then appointed her Chief Justice in 1986, making her the second woman to head the Court.[1] She was defeated by James G. Exum in the election for chief justice in November of that year.

Justice Billings became a law professor at Wake Forest University, retiring in 2003.[2] Today titled Professor Emeritus, Billings was named in 2008 to the National Committee on the Right to Counsel established by the Constitution Project of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.[3]


Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Branch
Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
Succeeded by
James G. Exum