Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

State judges across the U.S. face growing GOP pushback against rulings in election cases

In mid-December, Texas’ highest criminal court revoked the state attorney general’s ability to use his office to prosecute election-related cases without the request of a district or county attorney. In an 8-1 opinion, the all-Republican court weakened Attorney General Ken Paxton’s power to independently go after perpetrators of voter fraud, a problem he says is rampant but is actually exceedingly rare.

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State appeals court rules DHHS can be held liable for both lax and overzealous adult care home oversight

The owner of a McDowell County adult care home recently won an appeals court case against the state in which he argued that over-zealous inspectors reached conclusions that were so off-base they amounted to negligence. Because of the ruling, the owner can claim damages.  The three-judge appeals court panel split 2-1 in favor of owner Fred Leonard, who wants compensation for losses connected to sanctions against Cedarbrook Residential Center.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

State Supreme Court reviews gerrymandered maps tomorrow: What to know, how you can watch

The state’s highest court on Wednesday will consider whether new legislative and congressional districts are so severely skewed to help Republicans win that they violate the North Carolina constitution.   The hearing comes amid a tumultuous few months that have brought demands for three of the seven justices to recuse themselves, a GOP attempt to change the primary date, and a veto of that proposed change.

...
Read more 0
Congress Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down

Attention quickly shifts to President's campaign pledge to appoint a Black woman to the Court WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to announce his retirement in the coming days, according to multiple press reports Wednesday.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Must Reads Top Story

Must read report: The explosive growth in spending on judicial elections

In "The Politics of Judicial Elections, 2019-20," Brennan Center for Justice experts explain how and why special interests are spending more than ever on state high court races In 2019–20, state supreme court elections attracted more money — including more spending by special interests — than any judicial election cycle in history, posing a serious threat to the appearance and reality of justice across the country.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

States weigh how to shield election officials from threats, harassment

Following the turmoil of the 2020 election, a photo of Washington state Election Director Lori Augino marked with crosshairs, her address, and the words "your days are numbered" was posted on a website alongside photos of numerous other state election officials described as “enemies of the people.” Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said in a press release in December 2020 that she reported the so-called doxxing to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. But it's unclear...

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Republican U.S. Senate contest among the races impacted by primary date battle

Another potential change in the date of North Carolina’s 2022 primary election, this one initiated by the Republican majorities in the state legislature, is reverberating through races statewide, including the battle for the GOP nomination in the race for Richard Burr's soon-to-be open U.S. Senate seat. On Wednesday, General Assembly leaders fast-tracked a bill through both chambers that shifts the current May 17 primary date to June 7.

...
Read more 0
Vote here
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Election experts: Still more to be done on state, federal elections before 2022 midterms

A panel of experts on election security hosted a conversation on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. Their goal was to provide an update on how election security had been updated or improved since the 2020 election. But really, their hope was to not let history repeat itself.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Conservative groups target state, local voter registration rolls with multiple lawsuits

North Carolina’s voter rolls are like a refrigerator that needs to be cleared periodically of rotting milk and other items past their expiration date, according to Jason Torchinsky. Torchinsky is a lawyer representing Republican plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the state to more regularly maintain its voter rolls. But Jeff Loperfido, an attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Secret maps revelation, testimony of mathematicians deal blows to GOP defense as NC redistricting trial concludes

Three-judge panel to rule on plaintiffs' claims of illegal gerrymandering next Tuesday The trial on North Carolina redistricting ended with the bombshell that blew a hole in Republican claims of transparency, and included testimony from an array of mathematicians that computer programs could rarely, if ever, reproduce GOP-approved plans.

...
Read more 0
Congress Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights tops U.S. Senate agenda as Jan. 6 anniversary nears

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday stressed that Democrats are prepared to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation — and linked the move to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. “The election subversion efforts we’re seeing all across the country today are a direct continuation of Jan. 6,” he said at a press conference, referring to Republican state lawmakers who back legislation that imposes stricter voting requirements on their states, following Trump’s defeat.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

As a chemist and immigrant from Vietnam, Linh Nguyen never thought she could have a role in U.S. politics. But then Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and he “unknowingly inspired minority leaders, women of color like me, to be more actively engaged in politics,” she said. She joined the nonpartisan League of Women Voters in DeKalb County, Illinois, where she lives with her husband and two young children, and was elected the group’s president in March 2020.

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts News Top Story

What will happen in NC if the Supreme Court ends the constitutional right to an abortion?

Advocates predict an influx of patients from other states if Roe vs. Wade falls, but that could change if the GOP expands its legislative majorities North Carolina is one of the states that might see an increased demand for abortion services if the U.S. Supreme Court weakens or overturns the landmark 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion. 

  ...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts Top Story

GOP redistricting plans give rise to a trio of court challenges — here’s where things stand

With 2022 primaries looming, plaintiffs hope to secure speedy review by the state Supreme Court State courts are wading into the bare-knuckle fight over new congressional and legislative districts that Republicans say are just fine, but Democrats and outside evaluators say are heavily skewed to Republicans’ advantage.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform.The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin of Illinois, urges the Senate to include in its version a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people—something the Senate parliamentarian already has rejected twice in the bill, known as the Build Back Better Act.

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts Top Story

In Georgia, testimony concludes in trial of men accused of killing unarmed Black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery

Black pastors flock to courthouse from across the country as prosecutor pokes at credibility of man who fired fatal shots The lead prosecutor in Travis McMichael’s murder trial hammered him Thursday for contradictions and failing to take steps to avoid the deadly confrontation that ended with him shooting Ahmaud Arbery on a suburban Brunswick street in February 2020.

Read more 0
Send this to a friend