Courts and justice

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court in their judicial robes

U.S. Supreme Court justices take lavish gifts — then raise the bar for bribery prosecutions

BY: - May 4, 2023

Justice Clarence Thomas might be the most egregious when it comes to taking gifts and not disclosing them, but he’s not alone. His colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court also haven’t been shy about taking fancy freebies from rich people — many of whom have an interest in the actions of the court. The justices […]

Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife

After revelations of luxury trips, Democrats argue U.S. Supreme Court needs ethics code

BY: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court justices should follow a strict code of ethics when receiving gifts and travel or doing business with political funders and attorneys, argued Democratic senators Tuesday at a hearing that Chief Justice John Roberts declined to attend. After a spate of investigative articles detailing Justice Clarence Thomas’ luxury travel and real […]

Rev. William J. Barber II and Dennis Gaddy

Criminal justice reformers lobby for ‘second chances’ for formerly incarcerated people

BY: - May 3, 2023

Ten years ago, Dennis Gaddy stood beside the Rev. William J. Barber II at the state Legislative Building to protest a conservative General Assembly’s agenda that they believed threatened voting rights and funding for education and social services. On Tuesday, the men once again stood beside one another outside the Legislative Building and urged the […]

Legislators advance bill reforming NC Innocence Inquiry Commission laws

BY: - May 2, 2023

Legislators advanced a bill out of a House Judiciary Committee Monday that would change laws related to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, an independent group charged with assessing claims of innocence of people convicted of crimes in state courts. The General Assembly created the commission, the first of its kind in the country, in […]

NC Supreme Court upholds law that disenfranchises thousands convicted of felonies

BY: - May 1, 2023

The North Carolina Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday upholding a 1970s law requiring people convicted of felonies to complete the terms of their probation or parole in order to regain their right to vote. The decision — which fell 5-2 along party lines — affects more than 50,000 people. Friday’s majority opinion was written […]

The NC Legislative Building

Weekend reads: Billions more for school vouchers, denying treatment on moral grounds, and three blockbuster court rulings

BY: - April 30, 2023

In this issue: 1. Senate advances bill to to spend billions of public money on private school vouchers North Carolina is moving to a “backpack” school funding model to allow parents to take state education dollars to the schools of their choice, even private ones, says Sen. Michael Lee, a New Hanover County Republican. Lee […]

the word "vote' and the American flag

BREAKING: NC Supreme Court sides with GOP lawmakers on elections and voting

BY: - April 28, 2023

The North Carolina Supreme Court issued a group of much-anticipated rulings on Friday in a trio of high-profile cases that will likely have significant impacts on elections and voting rights in the nation’s ninth largest state, and even the partisan make-up of the next U.S. Congress. Together with recent developments at the General Assembly, where […]

Randall Jenkins talks about the challenges he faced coming home from prison

Panel discusses the trauma of prison, and the challenges to adjusting to life outside its gates

BY: - April 28, 2023

Of all the things he hadn’t seen in the last 14 years, Tyrone Baker most wanted to see the night sky. He wanted to gaze at the stars without being told he needed to get back in his cell. But if the vast expanse of the darkness above proved comforting, the low ceilings in his […]

flashing lights on a police car

Whistleblower bill advances in NC House over law enforcement concerns

BY: - April 26, 2023

Members of a House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would protect police officers from being fired if they report their colleagues’ use of excessive force or otherwise improper conduct. House Bill 589 is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth), Rep. John Hardister (R-Guilford), Rep. Danika Brown (D-Forsyth) and Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Mecklenburg). It […]

Pornography, drag shows are focus of child obscenity bill debate

BY: - April 25, 2023

Legislators advanced a bill out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning that would increase the punishment for disseminating obscene materials when a minor is present. “[The] material’s got to depict or describe in a patently offensive way sexual conduct,” said Sen. Buck Newton (R-Greene). It’s already a crime to intentionally spread such materials in […]

Assisting prisoner reentry, new bill would pay formerly incarcerated stipend for food, housing and clothes

BY: - April 24, 2023

A bill filed last week would require the Department of Adult Correction to give indigent people exiting its prisons monthly stipends for housing, food, clothing and transportation for up to six months after their release. The proposal, filed on April 20 and sponsored by nine Democrats representing Durham, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Guilford, Wake and Orange counties, […]

U.S. Supreme Court building

U.S. Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill as lawsuit continues

BY: and - April 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — The abortion pill will remain available throughout the United States while a lawsuit over its approval and use works through the appeals process, the U.S. Supreme Court said Friday. The court issued a stay that ensures access to mifepristone nationwide, reversing lower court rulings about when and how the abortion medication should be […]