State, local elections offer good news for democracy
The big news out of Tuesday’s elections was wins for Democrats and for reproductive rights in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. But small “d” democracy also had a good night: Virginians elected pro-voting majorities in both chambers, stymieing efforts to pass restrictive new voting laws. Ohioans turned out in large numbers to pass two popular […]
Not just Ohio: Biased language is the hot new tactic to thwart ballot measures
Abortion-rights supporters filed a lawsuit Monday against what they call “deceptive” ballot language produced by Ohio officials for the state’s closely-watched upcoming referendum on the issue. But it isn’t just the Buckeye State that’s lately seeing fierce battles over the once-obscure topic of ballot language. In recent weeks, officials in Missouri — where another abortion-rights […]
Ohio’s Issue 1 goes down to defeat
The Republican-led effort to make amending Ohio’s constitution more difficult has failed. As of 11:45 p.m., unofficial results for the Aug. 8 special election show voters rejected Issue 1 57% to 43%. The Associated Press called the race at 9 p.m. While precincts were still reporting late into the night and absentee ballots will continue […]
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.
NC Appeals Court moves on voter ID constitutional amendment case
An update to the story published yesterday about lawyers for the state NAACP trying to get the Court of Appeals to move the constitutional amendments case back to Wake County Superior Court. After lawyers for the NAACP petitioned the state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus – essentially asking the high court to order […]
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.
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
Breaking: NC Supreme Court keeps alive the NC NAACP challenge to voter ID
The state Supreme Court in a 4-3 vote agreed with a central argument the North Carolina NAACP made in its challenge to controversial constitutional amendments, keeping alive the case against voter ID and an income tax cap. (Click here to read the majority and dissenting opinions.) The Supreme Court’s Democratic majority wrote that proposed constitutional […]
Can NC legislators elected from unconstitutional districts propose changing the constitution?
The state Supreme Court heard arguments today over whether legislators elected from illegal districts could legitimately put constitutional amendments on the ballot. The state NAACP wants constitutional amendments requiring photo voter ID and capping state taxes invalidated. In 2018, federal courts determined that legislators had been elected from unconstitutional racially gerrymandered districts and required new […]