Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights groups seek to rally public opinion on potentially momentous NC gerrymandering case

Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to end state court oversight of federal elections and pro-democracy advocates are pushing back  It’s a pending U.S. Supreme Court case about the control of elections, a subject most people don’t think about every day. But Moore vs. Harper has become a rallying cry for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Common Cause NC and other voting rights groups...

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Biden touts public safety policy in visit to Pennsylvania

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — President Joe Biden knocked defenders of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol while touting his recent public safety policy wins in a visit to Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday. “You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,” Biden said.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

‘The End of Isolation Tour’ and the push to end solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons

How three performances of a play relate to efforts to end solitary in North Carolina It’s the sound of jangling keys that reminds Craig Waleed of his time in solitary confinement. “That brings me back to being in there and hearing the keys jingle next to the cell door, thinking, ‘OK then, they’ll let me out. Today's the day I get out,’” Waleed said.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

One thing is certain after the state Supreme Court ruling on constitutional amendments – more court hearings

North Carolina Republicans’ long desire to impose a photo identification requirement to vote has been threatened by the legislature’s failure in 2011 to draw constitutional election districts.   The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court majority wrote in its opinion last week that constitutional amendments proposed by a legislature with members elected from unconstitutional racially gerrymandered districts aren’t automatically considered valid.  

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Disenfranchised no more, ‘Second Chance voters’ can register and cast ballots — for now

Allowing those on probation and parole to vote marks the largest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Daquan Peters didn’t waste any time registering to vote on Wednesday. He hadn’t been fast enough last year, during a 10-day window between court proceedings where people like him, those who were home after spending time imprisoned for a felony but still on probation or parole, were briefly re-enfranchised.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

PW special report: Two recent state Supreme Court decisions could alter NC’s juvenile justice landscape

After growing up behind bars, many who committed serious crimes when they were children now have a chance at parole  James Ryan Kelliher first tried to kill himself when he was 10 years old. A high school dropout who had been abused by his father, Kelliher spent all his time getting or staying high by the time he was 17, robbing people to support his addiction.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Election officials risk criminal charges under 31 new GOP-imposed penalties

Since the 2020 election, Iowa has enacted one new felony and two new misdemeanor offenses targeting election officials. The state’s omnibus election law, passed in 2021, criminalizes election officials who fail to perform their duties, don’t adequately maintain voter lists, or interfere with other people performing their duties in or near a polling place. The first offense carries a potential five years in prison.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Criminalizing the vote: GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020

During the 2020 election, Rhonda Briggins and her sorority sisters spent days providing voters in metro Atlanta with water and snacks as they waited in long lines at polling places. The lines for early voting and on Election Day at times stretched on for hours. As the national co-chair for social action with the Delta Sigma Theta sorority for Black women, Briggins felt compelled to help, and she and her sisters unofficially adopted one DeKalb County location where many elderly Georgians cast their ballots.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: Gun violence in North Carolina, and one county’s efforts to address the crisis 

The shooting at the school convinced county leaders it was time to do something.  In August 2021, on his first day back in class after a suspension, a 15-year-old student at New Hanover High School shot one of his peers in the hand and leg.

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Law and the Courts News Progressive Voices Top Story

Abortion access in post-Roe v. Wade North Carolina: Providers face big challenges

As a family medicine physician in training, I have been closely following the news about Roe v. Wade. I am training to be an abortion provider because it is fundamental to how I comprehensively care for pregnant people and their families. Abortion is safe, normal, and essential. The recent reversal of Roe poses a direct threat to my training, and to the patients I serve here in North Carolina.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Budget would expand sheriffs’ ability to challenge jail investigations — and delay fixing alleged violations

County sheriffs and jailers could challenge violations uncovered during jail inspections conducted by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, according to a provision in the proposed state budget. Bill opponents say the measure undermines the state’s ability to regulate county jails and to enforce safety standards by allowing local authorities to immediately appeal the results of investigations. That could delay remedies for the violations while the appeal wends through the court system.

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Congress Environment Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court curbs federal power to regulate greenhouse gases, in blow to Biden

 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants, siding with a group of Republican attorneys general and coal companies in a major blow to the executive branch’s power to curb climate change.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Alarmed, but not panicked”: NC experts look to what could be next for LGBTQ rights after the Dobbs ruling

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, eliminating a constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years, the justices also fueled speculation that other established rights could be next on the chopping block. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in the Roe decision.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Transgender North Carolinians see legal victories on birth certificates, health coverage

Transgender people born in North Carolina can now change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing medical transition, according to a consent judgment in a federal law suit issued Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed last year by Lambda Legal, Baker Botts LLP and Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard, challenged state restrictions on how transgender North Carolinians can change their gender markers.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Raleigh “March For Our Lives” demonstrators demand action from lawmakers in combating gun violence

Hundreds turn out as part of a national day of action in response to recent mass shootings On Saturday June 11, hundreds of activists with the group March for Our Lives in North Carolina gathered in Raleigh at one of more than 450 demonstrations that took place across the country to protest gun violence and mass shootings. The protests were held in response to the recent mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and Tops Grocery Store in Buffalo, New York.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

If SCOTUS reverses Roe, state courts could overturn abortion bans in red states

Some say NC is a state in which reproductive freedom is implied in its constitution If the federal right to abortion is erased by the U.S. Supreme Court in a few weeks as expected, the legal spotlight will shift immediately to state courts, where experts say judges in some conservative states could surprise everyone and uphold the right to abortion.

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