Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Five questions with the co-leaders of the North Carolina Green Party

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law last year making it easier for third parties to get on the ballot, and the Green Party has achieved official status. The Electoral Freedom Act of 2017 is probably best known for its elimination of judicial election primaries this year, but the bill also eased ballot restrictions for third parties.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Homeowners to homelessness: Siler City residents battle eviction after chicken processor purchases mobile home park

When Lucia Salmeron thinks about her trailer, she thinks about her family’s future – her children riding their bikes with their friends in a neighborhood they love; she and her husband working on their home renovations; everyone being surrounded by a close-knit community of which they’ve spent years becoming a part.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Deadlocks, discord and compromise: Elections/Ethics Board makes nominations for ninth seat

It took five deadlocked votes along party lines and a failed suggestion to draw names from a hat for eight members of the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to finally agree on two nominees to serve in what could be a tie-breaking ninth seat.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The Board of Elections battle: Where things stand

One-stop early voting for North Carolina’s May 8 primary election is a little over a month away, but litigation over the structure of the agency overseeing all things voting remains very much unresolved. Gov. Roy Cooper filed a ...
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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Special three-judge panels have a lot of power in NC, but how do they get it?

Constitutional challenges, especially over the last year, have been highly politically charged in North Carolina and the three-judge panels appointed to hear those cases wield a lot of power with little transparency as to how they got it.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Dreamers’ lives hang in the balance as Supreme Court reviews Trump’s attempt to end DACA

Any protection the courts offer Dreamers is temporary, but all eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it will take on the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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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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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Hopeful developments in the effort to rein in gerrymandering

Progress in rooting out North Carolina’s gerrymandered voting districts hasn’t always occurred in a straight line. But the trend – thanks to federal judges honoring their duty to uphold the Constitution – bodes well for giving all voters an equal chance to help choose their leaders.

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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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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Familiar issues likely to highlight NC courts news in 2018

New Year, new … wait a minute. It’s looking more like this year’s legislative motto will be “New Year, same me.”

It’s fully expected that lawmakers will continue building on many of the same themes North Carolinians saw in 2017, starting with their continued vice grip on the courts. Though it’s possible their fingers may be pried open by several court decisions expected in the first half of the year.

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