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

News Top Story

Monday numbers: Martin Luther King Jr. Day edition

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and celebrate the life of the civil rights activist. King was a Baptist minister and activist who was considered one of the leaders of the civil rights movement until he was assassinated in 1968. The numbers below give more information about King and the life he led.  

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC’s new “Raise the Age” law appears to be off to a promising start

New facilities and policies offer hope to 16 and 17 year-olds once consigned to the adult corrections system Tall trees and a rocky, woodsy landscape envelop the C.A. Dillon juvenile detention campus in Butner. Save for the tall metal fence that rings the confinement building, the area could be mistaken for a summer camp or private school grounds. The feeling that greets the visitor of wanting to go for a group hike or play flag football with old pals quickly diminishes inside, however...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Progress, setbacks in fight against gerrymandering headline an extraordinary year in the courts

Two-thousand nineteen will forever be immortalized as the year North Carolinians fought back against gerrymandering and won. Their prize? For the first time in a decade, voters will get to cast their ballot in something resembling a constitutional ...
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Law and the Courts News Top Story

The gerrymanderer’s daughter

Stephanie Hofeller opens up in exclusive interview about life, family and the explosive files that changed North Carolina politics LEXINGTON, KY. – Almost a year and a month to the day after Stephanie Hofeller turned American Politics on its head by reaching out to Common Cause North Carolina about her family affairs, she stood in the middle of her small Kentucky apartment with a Marlboro Light hanging from her lips and a glass of red Kool-Aid in her hand. She exhaled a thick haze of white smoke and then took a deep breath before delving into what her life has been like in the aftermath of releasing the personal files of her dead father – notorious GOP mapmaker Tom Hofeller.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Breaking: State court cites time constraints in approving congressional maps that are “not perfect”

North Carolina Republicans officially ran out the clock – at least legally – when they enacted a new Congressional map just weeks before candidate filing. A three-judge state Superior Court panel ruled unanimously Monday that the map can go forward and set aside its prior injunction postponing congressional candidate filing.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Lawsuit seeks to restore voting rights to North Carolinians with felonies, strike down ‘Jim Crow era’ law

Dennis Gaddy missed out on the opportunity to elect the nation’s first African-American president because of his criminal record, despite re-entering society, paying taxes, taking care of his children and being a responsible and respected citizen. After losing the right to vote for seven years, he’s now a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the statute that took away that “sacred” right, even after he served his time and “fully returned to society.”

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Congressional redistricting plans take shape despite objections from the public, advocates

North Carolinians were presented with more than a dozen congressional maps by Tuesday night and had less than 24 hours to provide public comment about them Wednesday.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

North Carolina lawmakers begin drawing new election maps…again

North Carolina lawmakers are drawing electoral maps for the second time this year – this time, they are tackling congressional districts. A court ruled last week that the plaintiffs in a partisan gerrymandering lawsuit challenging the 2016 congressional map are likely to prevail on the merits of their case and enjoined lawmakers from moving forward with those districts in the 2020 election.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at what’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border

Border Patrol agents apprehended more migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2019) than any year since 2007, and the Pew Research Center released a closer look last week at some of the shifting dynamics.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

North Carolina reacts to court decisions in favor of ‘fairer maps’

Voting rights advocates and lawmakers were hit with a double whammy Monday: remedial legislative maps drawn to correct extreme partisan gerrymandering were accepted by a state Superior Court three-judge panel for the 2020 elections, and the 2016 congressional map was struck down.

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