Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts News Top Story

Title 42 exception helps LGBTQ asylum-seekers

In a red brick house on the south side of El Paso, Texas, Susana Correa sits in front of a wall of five computer monitors, the biggest filled with lists of the names of hundreds of LGBTQ asylum-seekers waiting to cross from Juárez into El Paso. To her left, one monitor features a long string of WhatsApp conversations with asylum-seekers — more than 200 messages await for her response. Sharing the screen are recorded messages from her coworkers who are interviewing people waiting in Juárez, administering COVID tests and arranging for border crossings.

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Health Law and the Courts News Top Story

‘More than a vessel’: North Carolina doctors raise red flags over the realities of a post-Roe world

North Carolina obstetricians and gynecologists are raising concerns over the burden tighter restrictions on abortion could have on women as well as the medical profession. Dr. Jonas Swartz is an assistant professor in Duke University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a researcher in reproductive health equity issues.

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Health Law and the Courts News Top Story

Overturning Roe would hand power over abortion to states. Many would ban it.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a nearly 50-year-old right to abortion would lead to strict restrictions or bans by states across nearly half the country almost immediately. The court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, as well as a subsequent ruling on fetal viability, according to an initial draft of a majority opinion in a pending abortion case published Monday by Politico.

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Congress Health Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Senate to try again on abortion rights after bombshell disclosure of draft opinion

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday pledged a new vote codifying the right to an abortion after publication of a draft court ruling that showed the Supreme Court on track to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Democrats, who likely won’t have the votes to advance that bill, also predicted that abortion will emerge as a major issue in the upcoming midterm elections for members of Congress.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Florida gave voting rights to people with felony convictions. Now some face charges for voting.

Florida authorities arrested a Black man while he was staying in a homeless shelter and charged him with voting illegally in a case tied to Republicans’ drive to root out election fraud. But Kelvin Bolton’s arrest raises questions about the rollout of Amendment 4, passed by Florida voters in 2018 to restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Retailers urge NC legislators to crack down on organized retail crime

Pandemic, opioids, rising prices blamed for sharp rise in retail thefts "In retail, we're in business to sell, they are in business to steal." Craig Dowdle, the regional investigation manager for Lowe's Home Improvement, told state legislators Tuesday that Organized Retail Crime has been rising steadily since the pandemic.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Criminal justice leaders tout the benefits of ‘restorative justice’ at NCCU forum

Durham police chief, sheriff, and D.A. agree that county's practices and experience can be a model for systemic reform Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews teared up as she sat in a close circle of people in the Great Hall of North Carolina Central University’s Law School.

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Health Law and the Courts News Top Story

States rush to revise their abortion laws as a major U.S. Supreme Court decision nears

WASHINGTON — Abortion access throughout the country could soon depend on a patchwork of state laws if a U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservatives overturns the constitutional right it established nearly 50 years ago. The court’s decision on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban is expected sometime within the next two months. But state legislatures have been racing to prepare for the expected landmark ruling by shepherding new, vastly different pieces of legislation to their governors.

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Higher Ed Law and the Courts News Top Story

Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases could curb colleges’ use of affirmative action

Conservative SCOTUS majority likely jeopardizes race-conscious admissions policies at UNC and Harvard WASHINGTON — A U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservative justices could fundamentally reshape the college admissions process later this year when it takes up two landmark cases challenging affirmative action in higher education. The court recently agreed to hear two cases that challenge race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public universities.

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Congress Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pressed to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases

NC's Deborah Ross among 24 members of Congress speaking out Two dozen congressional Democrats are calling for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, following revelations his wife communicated with the Trump White House about overturning the election. In addition, it appears likely that the U.S. House committee probing the attack will ask Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a Nebraska native and longtime conservative activist, to answer questions about her recently disclosed text messages as the panel’s investigation steps up.

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Congress Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

What senators asked Ketanji Brown Jackson on the third day of U.S. Supreme Court hearings

Attempt at "gotcha" moment by NC's Tillis ends up backfiring U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis took part in the historic confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the  first Black woman to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, with questions Wednesday suggesting that as a judge, she is not tough enough on defendants. Unlike some of his Republican colleagues, Tillis spoke in even tones, but he cut off Jackson as she tried to answer some of his questions.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Ketanji Brown Jackson defends her record under grilling from U.S. Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON – Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday sharpened their criticisms of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, probing her work as a public defender on behalf of terrorism suspects, the judicial sentences she has handed down for child pornography offenses and her views of critical race theory.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the political pressure on local election officials (and the problems it’s causing)

"We will make sure not one single vote in this state is either cast or counted without Republican observers and attorneys in the room," said state Republican Party chair Michael Whatley at last week's Wake County Republican Party convention. The pledge to ramp up political scrutiny of polling sites ahead of the mid-term elections comes at a time that election officials nationwide are raising an alarm about the polarized voting environment.

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Congress Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to start Monday

NC's Tillis among 22 Judiciary Committee members who will evaluate first Black woman nominated to the nation's highest court After more than two weeks of private meetings with nearly half the U.S. Senate, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, will field questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee in highly anticipated public hearings that begin Monday.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

In many parts of the U.S., people in jail can still go to the polls

HOUSTON — Damien Lewis had been detained in the Harris County Jail for a week. Other than the one hour a day he was allowed to walk around indoors and trips to court, he had been under quarantine and hadn’t left his cell. But on the day of the Texas primary earlier this month, a jail staff member escorted him down to a hallway on the jail’s first floor, which was lined with eight voting machines.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Judges replace the NC congressional redistricting plan. The state Supreme Court denies all requests for a stay.  

A panel of Superior Court judges on Wednesday replaced a new map for North Carolina’s congressional districts with their own, while deciding that the state House and Senate plans the legislature adopted last week meet constitutional standards set by the state Supreme Court. The trial court decision on this second set of redistricting plans may not be the last word. Republican architects of the district plans and their challengers are all appealing.

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