Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

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 News Top Story

What you need to know about the big abortion and LGBT cases at the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a high-profile case that could have major implications for abortion rights in states across the country. The justices announced that they will hear an appeal in a case over a Louisiana law that requires any physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, which critics warn would severely hamper access to those services.

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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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Law and the Courts Top Story

Court of Appeals ruling could lessen burden of court costs for criminal defendants

Reform advocates laud decision that could reduce phenomenon of "debtor's prison" Stacking criminal charges and levying court costs to make money off defendants is nothing new in North Carolina, but it could become more of a rarity in the future. The Court of Appeals published...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Ruth Bader Ginsburg reviews her remarkable life, battles for gender equality in Raleigh appearance

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking to a crowd of mostly women Monday in Raleigh, recalled when so many opportunities were off limits for her gender. “What is the difference between a bookkeeper in New York's Garment District, which my mother was, and a Supreme Court justice?” she asked. “And my answer is, one generation.”

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Law and the Courts Top Story

‘A perfect synergy:’ Attorneys behind UNC Center for Civil Rights merge with national group

Civil rights litigation isn’t always about securing a win in court – sometimes there is a deeper reclamation that comes from fighting for what’s right alongside others who care about the cause. That was evident last week as racial and social justice advocates from across the state gathered to celebrate the work of Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix, who used to run the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW special update: Lawmakers commence court-ordered redistricting process

The North Carolina General Assembly is embarking on a historically transparent redistricting process without the use of partisan election data, but it’s been slow-going and not without snags. Lawmakers were ordered by a court to redraw House and Senate districts after a three-judge panel found they used unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering to harm Democrats when they created the 2017 legislative maps.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

In historic ruling, judges strike down North Carolina’s gerrymandered legislative maps

North Carolina voters may have a front row seat over the next two weeks to watch Republican lawmakers correct their redistricting wrong of using extreme partisan gerrymandering to dilute Democrats’ collective voting strength and to entrench their own political party in power. A panel of three Superior Court...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Future, past of NC death penalty in focus at state Supreme Court

Death row inmates ask justices for life in prison after racial bias infected their trials Six North Carolina death row inmates are fighting to to spend the rest of their lives in prison without any possibility of parole and to escape an early death at the hands of an execution team.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Board of Elections dismisses security concerns; votes to allow barcode ballots

The North Carolina Board of Elections went against the request of thousands of voters Friday when they voted 3-2 to certify a barcode elections system susceptible to hacking.

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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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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Must read: The N.C. Racial Justice Act and why it still matters in the fight to end the death penalty

Editor's note: On August 26th and 27th, the North Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in six death penalty cases involving the Racial Justice Act -- a law enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2009 and later repealed after Republicans took control of the legislature and the Governor's mansion in 2013. The following review of the law and its history...

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Law and the Courts Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Durham’s new D.A. is breaking the mold

In a one-on-one interview, Satana Deberry explains how she's transforming the prosecutor's office in NC's 6th largest county When Satana Deberry was executive director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition, it was easy for her to see the ripple effects of interactions with the justice system. A single arrest, a single plea, a single conviction for even a low level infraction could close doors to employment, housing and education, she said. That could lead to further arrests, perpetuating generational cycles of poverty.

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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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