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
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Melissa Boughton's articles and posts

Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday Numbers: Who has been removed from NC’s voter rolls?

Every year, North Carolina removes registered voters from its voter rolls as part of a maintenance routine required by state and federal laws. The removal is often referred to as “purging,” but North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon said the term is “an overused, inaccurate and misleading way to describe maintenance of the voter rolls.” Below is information from the State Board about its voter list maintenance process in 2017 and 2018, as well as nationwide voter “purge” data from the Brennan Center for Justice.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story Trump Administration

Advocates, officials: New Trump anti-immigration rule is harshest yet

The Trump Administration’s new public charge rule will do more to keep families separated than it will to discourage immigrants from using public benefits by implementing a “wealth test” and defining the type of foreigner they’re willing to let stay in this country.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Board of Elections does a 180 on decision to delay certifying voting machines

The North Carolina State Board of Elections plans to move forward with certifying new voting machines ahead of the 2020 elections after a member mistakenly voted Monday night to delay the process to create stricter requirements out of concern for cyber security. The reversal of course came as a surprise to voting rights advocates and citizens who had praised Board members last night for postponing certification in the name of voter integrity.

The reverse course came as a surprise to voting rights advocates and citizens...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Partisan gerrymandering trial to conclude today after Thursday bombshell

A two-week long trial about whether Republican lawmakers violated the constitution when they drew voting maps to maximize their partisan advantage will come to an end today. The Wake County Superior Court three-judge panel likely won’t make a decision for a least a few weeks...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Expert witnesses, lawyers offer dramatically different assessments at state gerrymandering trial

They say the best defense is a good offense, and GOP legislative leaders appear to be attempting heed that old adage. The legislative defendants in North Carolina's partisan gerrymandering trial, Common Cause v. Lewis, started presenting their case this week and, simultaneously, started sending out daily...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC Supreme Court justice publicly maligns colleagues, urges critics of America to “just leave” the country

State judicial code makes discipline unlikely for Justice Paul Newby The only registered Republican on the state Supreme Court likely won't face any consequences after publicly disparaging his fellow justices, urging a crowd to watch their work over the next 18 months for judicial activism, and telling people who don't like America to "just leave."

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

North Carolina court begins high-stakes partisan gerrymandering trial

North Carolina voting rights groups and Democrats were compared to the legendary Pied Piper at the start of a highly-anticipated partisan gerrymandering trial on Monday – actors who would lure a state court with their legal flutes into a "thicket" of thorns. “There is no need for the thicket under our current constitutional order,” said Phil Strach, an attorney for the legislative defendants. “The court should resist the flute, avoid the thicket and uphold the constitutional order by dismissing these claims.”

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

North Carolina partisan gerrymandering trial could provide roadmap for other states

All eyes will be on North Carolina next week as partisan gerrymandering takes center stage, once again. The trial in the case of  Common Cause v. Lewis – the state constitutional partisan gerrymandering challenge – will begin at 10 a.m. Monday

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Will the Hofeller files make it to trial in partisan gerrymandering case?

North Carolina Republicans believe the files from deceased mapmaker Thomas Hofeller shouldn’t be used at the upcoming partisan gerrymandering trial because he’s not around to testify. “There are lots of things, your honors, that we are never going to know about those files and that, frankly, we can’t know about those files because Dr. Hofeller is not here to testify about them...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at Census data

The U.S. Supreme Court last week at least temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from asking a citizenship question on 2020 Census. Challengers to the question say it has driven fear into the immigrant community and could result in inaccurate data, which would mean less federal dollars in some areas.

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