NC Supreme Court

NC Supreme Court

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Judges not legislators: State Supreme Court’s legitimacy depends on continued respect for precedent

Maybe the change was an inevitable byproduct of our current charged and contentious era. Maybe it was naïve to ever think that things were dramatically different in the past. Whichever the case, one thing for sure in 2022 is that public perceptions of the American judiciary as a neutral dispenser of blind justice ain’t what they used to be. And indeed, those altered perceptions may reflect a new, sobering, and thoroughly politicized reality.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Worries abound for criminal justice under a Republican state Supreme Court

Many advocates for reform are concerned about the high court’s rightward shift. Republicans took control of the North Carolina Supreme Court last week, winning two seats and flipping the court from a 4-3 Democratic majority to a 5-2 Republican one. The Republican majority is guaranteed through at least 2028. That could mean more gerrymandered maps that favor the GOP, a reversal of the landmark Leandro ruling that would lead to a massive increase in education funding across North Carolina, and further restricted access to abortion.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Could election results spur an immediate reversal of a landmark state Supreme Court ruling?

The North Carolina Supreme Court – or at least a slim majority of its members – invoked its solemn duty to uphold constitutional rights when it agreed in a Nov. 4 ruling that the state must spend more money to upgrade its system of public education. The General Assembly – or at least the Republicans who run things in the legislative branch’s mid-century modern temple in Raleigh – now is gearing up to invoke its solemn power to convince the court to buzz off.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Supreme Court candidates tout nonpartisanship as deeply partisan election looms

The four candidates running for two open seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court all gave different versions of the same message at ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

Policy Watch interviews NC Supreme Court candidates: Part Two

Two Supreme Court seats are on the ballot this Election Day, offering Republicans the opportunity to flip the state’s highest court. Policy Watch has reached out to each of the four candidates and is publishing their responses from interviews conducted in October. Democrat Lucy Inman and Republican Richard Dietz are squaring off in a race to replace Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, who is retiring. Both Inman and Dietz are judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Policy Watch interviews NC Supreme Court candidates: Part One

Two North Carolina Supreme Court seats are on the ballot this Election Day, offering Republicans the opportunity to flip the state’s highest court, which currently includes four Democrats and three members of the GOP. Policy Watch has contacted each of the four candidates and is publishing their responses. Sam J. Ervin, IV is the incumbent associate justice running for reelection as a Democrat. He has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2015. He served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals before that, from 2009 to 2015. He was also a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission from 1999 to 2009.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Gerrymandering debate returns once more to the NC Supreme Court

Elections week continues at the state’s high court as justices weigh another appeal involving redistricting. The North Carolina Supreme Court wrestled once again with the issues of redistricting and gerrymandering on Tuesday in a case in which Republican lawmakers contend they should be allowed to draw maps however they choose, regardless of whether they dilute the voting power of people casting a ballot in favor of Democrats.

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Environment

NC Attorney General’s Office argues that DuPont’s holding companies should also be on the hook for PFAS liabilities in NC

The historical DuPont corporation -- known in court records as "Old DuPont" -- has parked roughly $20 billion in two “paper companies” (which have no employees, offices or equipment) to shield those assets from legal liability, a lawyer for the North Carolina Attorney General argued before the state Supreme Court today.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

State Supreme Court issues a limited, well-reasoned check on rogue legislatures

As you may have heard by now, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued one of its more momentous rulings of recent years last week. As it turns out, it was also one of the best-reasoned. At issue in the case of North Carolina NAACP v. Moore, was whether a General Assembly elected under maps found by a federal court to be racially and unconstitutionally gerrymandered can lawfully approve constitutional amendments that would ...

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

The last best hope for North Carolina’s public schools

There is a bit of mythology that sometimes creeps into the way longtime supporters of North Carolina’s public education system describe the halcyon days of the late 20th Century under the leadership of former Gov. Jim Hunt and Democratic legislators like former House Speaker Dan Blue and former Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight.

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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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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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