Archives by: Melissa Boughton

Melissa Boughton

About the author

Melissa Boughton, Courts and Law Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in September 2016. She covers local, state and federal courts and writes about key decisions that impact the lives of North Carolinians. Before joining the project, Melissa worked the crime and courts beats at The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.; The Winchester Star in Winchester, Va.; and The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, TX. While reporting in Charleston, she covered the Emanuel church shootings and the police killing of Walter Scott. She was part of the team that was named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for coverage of Scott’s death.

melissa@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-1454

Melissa Boughton's articles and posts

Law and the Courts Top Story

Searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ in partisan gerrymandering standards: An update from the federal trial in Greensboro

A court really shouldn’t shirk away from making a finding about a constitutional violation just because it may be difficult, said the lead judge on a federal panel reviewing two North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases.

Chief District Judge William Lindsay Osteen Jr., who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, was responding Thursday to an argument by Phil Strach, who represents North Carolina’s legislature in both of the cases, which went to trial at the same time this week.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Experts express concerns about consequences of eliminating judicial primary elections

North Carolinians will lose their “precious right to vote,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls it, in at least one election next year if lawmakers override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656.

“The Electoral Freedom Act” eliminates next year’s primary election for...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Will partisan gerrymandering survive? Our report from yesterday’s argument at the U.S. Supreme Court

The majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court made clear Tuesday that partisan gerrymandering is distasteful and does a disservice to voters, but it remains unclear if they will intervene.

“Could you tell me what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering?” asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “How does that help our system of government?”

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Lawmakers refuse to say how incumbent judges and D.A.’s fare in new maps; so we did it for you

Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly, Montgomery) said last week that the North Carolina House will pass legislation redrawing the maps under which state judges and district attorneys are elected without any information being made available to the public about ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC’s gerrymandering saga: Where things stand and what’s next

The 2011 state legislative maps – which have been used in three separate election cycles and six statewide elections – are among the largest racial gerrymanders ever encountered by a federal court.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Board of Education gets more time before possible transfer of power to Superintendent Mark Johnson

It will be at least another month before state Superintendent Mark Johnson can take over at the helm of the Department of Public Instruction, which leaves the Board of Education in charge of the state’s 1.5 million students and $10 billion budget.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

More with less: With $3 million in the balance, initial AG cuts take effect

Changes from a $7 million budget cut to the North Carolina Department of Justice went into effect Sept. 1 and as expected, people are making do with less.

“The work is still getting done,” said Laura Brewer, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, adding that employees are committed to doing the work and serving the public.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

North Carolina voters give lawmakers tongue-lashing over new proposed legislative maps

North Carolina voters’ message to lawmakers Tuesday evening was clear: they’re unhappy with their representatives and they’re unhappy with the new proposed legislative maps.

Hundreds of speakers across the state attended public input hearings to speak about the maps, which were released over the weekend as a remedy to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Merit or maps? Judges’ futures could come down to clashing legislative proposals

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill

The fate of judicial selection in North Carolina may come down to a clash between the House and Senate.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Architect behind changes to NC judiciary late (again) in filing campaign finance report

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative session to change the judiciary are in the dark.

The five-term Republican legislator from Stanly has not yet filed his mid-year semi-annual campaign finance report, according to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The report was due July 31.

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