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

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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Law and the Courts Top Story

Raise the Age funding ‘a good foundation’ as Dec. 1 implementation nears

In 39 days, some children and teenagers under the age of 18 will no longer be charged in the adult criminal system in North Carolina for most non-violent crimes. Raise the Age legislation was passed in 2017 to change the age of juvenile jurisdiction in the state – North Carolina was the last in the nation to make the change – and after years of research, advocacy and waiting, the law is finally going into effect Dec. 1.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

New report: Using citizenship data in redistricting will whitewash representation

Common Cause released a report today that shows drawing electoral boundaries using only data for citizens over the age of 18 relies on fundamentally faulty data and is part of a partisan plot to shift representation away from communities of color to areas where white populations live.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

It’s up to the court now: A redistricting update after the final round of filings

It’s a strikingly familiar tale in North Carolina: voters are waiting with bated breath for a court to either approve legislatively-drawn remedial House and Senate maps or to assign the job to a neutral third-party to correct unconstitutional ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at NC’s growing Latinx voter population

It's widely know that North Carolina's Latinx population had been growing rapidly in recent years. But for those who may have only a general idea about the magnitude of this phenomenon, a recent "must read" report from the research and advocacy organization Democracy North Carolina....

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