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

News Top Story

Monday numbers – a closer look at gun violence in the U.S.

Last week, a teenager in Florida opened fire in a high school and killed 17 people.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, used a legally obtained AR-15 assault-style rifle at his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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Courts in Crisis Top Story

Keeping up with the…judicial maps – There are now more than there are Kardashians

Lawmakers late last week released two new versions of a judicial redistricting bill, making these the eighth and ninth maps released since last summer.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Local officials voice opposition to judiciary overhaul as issue resurfaces at General Assembly

As lawmakers prepare to vote later this week on measures that are a secret to the rest of North Carolina, there is fear in some circles judicial reform could be put back on the table. House, Senate and joint committees have been talking about judicial redistricting and judicial selection for months without agreement between the two chambers.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The state of NC’s redistricting battles: A litigation cheat sheet for those trying to keep track

North Carolina’s redistricting plans have drawn major court involvement over the last few years, and it’s not looking promising that trend will change in 2018. There are five pending redistricting cases, four of which have had some action in the past month and it’s not easy to keep them straight.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The “double-bunkings” continue: An analysis of the G.A.’s latest proposed judicial maps

How many maps does it take to hit the sweet spot when it comes to judicial redistricting? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly, Montgomery) unveiled another round of judicial and prosecutorial maps this ...
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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at abortion, family planning on Roe v. Wade anniversary

The following information is gathered from the Guttmacher Institute:

90% — North Carolina counties in 2014 that had no clinics that provided abortions

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Could judicial reform lead to Supreme Court packing? Former judge thinks so

Nothing is off the table when it comes to Republican judicial reform, and a former Wake County judge thinks court packing may still be an option. Donald Stephens has been using his newfound retirement to speak out against changes to the judiciary that could result in less independence for the coequal branch of government.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Can North Carolina change the way district court judges are elected without a constitutional amendment?

There’s a new rumor afoot about judicial reform that lawmakers may try to pass a judicial appointment system that only affects district court judges. The plan is apparently premised on the notion that the state constitution allows such action without voter consent. The Senate has been floating “merit” selection for the better part of half a year and evaluating different forms of judicial reform since the latter part of last year. House Republicans prefer judicial redistricting.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Haven’t read yesterday’s 205-page partisan gerrymandering ruling? We’ve got you covered

Three federal judges agree: North Carolina Republican lawmakers drew a congressional map that intentionally discriminated against voters and entrenched their party’s power.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Special master’s maps focus in latest court battle over racial gerrymandering

The best defense is a good offense, and lawmakers are trying that strategy in federal court.

Their attorneys spent Friday attacking the job of special master Nathaniel Persily, who was tasked by a federal court with redrawing several legislative districts to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.

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