NC Supreme Court

NC Supreme Court

Top Story Weekly Briefing

The last best chance for North Carolina’s public schools

A few years ago, I reserved a room at the North Carolina Association of Educators Building in Raleigh for a large public luncheon. When our team arrived a half hour before the event to get set up, however, we encountered a troubling surprise. To our alarm, we discovered that there had been a scheduling mix-up and the large room in question was occupied by a sizable assemblage of teachers who were in town for some kind of training session. Tables, chairs, and materials were scattered across the room. What to do?

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Education News Top Story

High stakes at the state’s highest court over school spending mandates

The colossal dispute over the proper financing of North Carolina’s public schools that has played out over 28 years is heading to a showdown before the state Supreme Court. Yes, again. Sometime after April 18, the high court will decide whether the General Assembly is fulfilling its duty to ensure that the state’s public school students – and especially those in counties where poverty is endemic – have a fair chance to get an education good enough to meet the state constitution’s guarantees.

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Education Top Story

Final outcome in NC’s landmark school funding case remains in limbo as legislature seeks to derail enforcement

After nearly three decades, the Leandro case has yet to produce the remedy the plaintiffs say the constitution requires. Now, the courts will weigh in again Attorney Larry Armstrong has been a part of the state’s landmark Leandro school funding lawsuit for more than 27 years. The attorney for Halifax County Schools filed the original legal challenge in 1994.

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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.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

When it comes to gerrymandering, there simply must be a limit

Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the most recent batch of egregiously gerrymandered legislative and congressional maps fashioned by Republican majorities at the General Assembly. It should not have been necessary.

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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.

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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.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

State judiciary must protect NC from its power-hungry legislature

Among all the issues and challenges confronting North Carolina as 2022 gets under way – overcoming the pandemic, easing rural poverty, alleviating environmental threats, improving access to health care, on and on down the sobering list – it’s fair to say none is more urgent than shoring up our beleaguered public schools and strengthening citizens’ ability to participate meaningfully in our democracy.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC GOP’s judicial impeachment threats are a new low in Trump-like lawlessness

Impeachment. Like the snowflakes that flew last week in many parts of North Carolina, that word has been in the air in the state capital of late – darting crazily here and there in wild and erratic patterns and, ultimately, depositing a kind of icy blanket on state government. A few weeks’ back, right-wing politicos were rattling the impeachment saber at Superior Court Judge David Lee because they didn’t like his attempts to enforce the state constitution when it came to the right of schoolchildren in poor counties to a sound basic education.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Progressive Voices Top Story

Berger-Barringer controversy makes clear that NC should make its judicial ethics rules stronger, not weaker

The justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court are currently debating how they should handle conflicts of interest. Indeed, two Republican justices are now the target of motions to “disqualify” based on alleged conflicts in a case challenging a pair of constitutional amendments adopted and placed on the statewide ballot by the legislature in 2018.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

State Supreme Court to consider possibility of involuntary recusal for Justices Berger and Barringer

Court asks parties for briefs in case challenging 2018 constitutional amendments The Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an order Tuesday directing the parties in the case of NAACP v. Moore and Berger to submit new briefs addressing questions surrounding the recusal of justices.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Two conflicts of interest on the NC Supreme Court that should not be swept under the rug

There is, of course, nothing new about the idea that blood runs thick in politics. The list of prominent American political figures and families who have championed and facilitated the political careers of children, spouses, siblings, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and the like is a long one. The current North Carolina political scene is peppered with examples – from former Lt. Governor Dan Forest...

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Law and the Courts News

Election 2020: GOP judicial candidates appear to pull off clean sweep

At the end of long night of close contests, Republican candidates appeared on the verge of pulling off a somewhat surprising clean sweep of statewide races for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. With an unknown number of mail-in ballots yet to be counted, however, at least one (and possibly others) appear to remain too close to call.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Lucy Inman, Phil Berger, Jr. vie for NC Supreme Court seat

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is publishing a series of Q&A’s over the coming weeks with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 14 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and eight who are contesting four seats on the Court of Appeals) was asked the same seven questions...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Cheri Beasley, Paul Newby vie for top NC Supreme Court seat

Editor's note: As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is publishing a series of Q&A's over the coming weeks with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 14 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and eight who are contesting four seats on the Court of Appeals) was asked the same seven questions by former PW Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter Melissa Boughton.

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