North Carolina Supreme Court

Redistricting Reconsidered

Apr 21, 2015
The district plan for North Carolina as set by the 2011 General Assembly.
ncleg.net

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider the controversial redistricting measures taken by the legislature in 2011. 

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state court’s decision and instructed it to look again at these issues in light of the highest court’s rulings in a similar case in Alabama. At issue is whether the new lines are racially-based gerrymandering or permissible redistricting measures.

Gavel, Court
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday morning on a case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s private school voucher program.

The status of private school vouchers in North Carolina has been in flux ever since two lawsuits were filed in December 2013 that seek to end the vouchers, or Opportunity Scholarships. The North Carolina Association of Educators and the NC Justice Center filed a suit on behalf of 25 plaintiffs, while the NC School Boards Association filed a second lawsuit.

Photo: Justice Cheri Beasley
Justice Cheri Beasley Committee

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has won a re-count to keep her seat against  Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, according to certified State Board of Elections results.

Beasley, endorsed by Democrats in the non-partisan race for the state’s highest court, gained a net of 17 votes in the re-count, keeping a narrow lead of 0.22 percent of ballots cast, the unofficial results show.

Photo: Justice Robin Hudson (center) and Judge Eric Levinson spoke with at a Supreme Court candidate forum
Jorge Valencia

With five weeks to go before Election Day, candidates for the state’s highest court are trying to get some attention. And they’re spending more time raising campaign funds because the legislature eliminated state funding for judicial races last year.

Campaign ads for the Supreme Court are usually pretty civil. They're kind of like one from Justice Bob Hunter, in which a narrator says: "In the North Carolina Legal system, one quality must stand out: Fairness." In the video, three young people hold a sign that says "fairness" and a then flip it over to say, "Bob Hunter!"

The Supreme Court elections are coming and things are getting interesting (gavel on tabletop).
flickr.com/photos/leviphotos

  

The North Carolina Supreme Court is supposed to be above hyper-partisan politics, but what happens when groups from outside the state become the biggest donors? 

Gavel
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

Supporters of private school vouchers are trying to put the state’s program back on course. Attorneys are asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to overturn a recent ruling that halts the program.

A superior court judge ruled last week that using taxpayer dollars to help send children to private schools is unconstitutional.

But critics say the program gives low-income families school choice and that freezing the funds has put hundreds of families in limbo.

Photos: Eric Levinson, Jeanette Doran, Robin Hudson
Campaign photos

Two experienced judges won the right to run for North Carolina’s Supreme Court on Tuesday night.

Incumbent Justice Robin Hudson got 43 percent of the vote and Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson got 37 percent to Raleigh attorney Jeanette Doran's 21 percent, according to the State Board of Elections.

Judicial races are usually sedate, but this one is getting attention because out-of-state funders spent more than half a million dollars in negative advertising against Hudson.

Photos: Eric Levinson, Jeanette Doran, Robin Hudson
Campaign photos

North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race isn’t the only one attracting lots of campaign money ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson is facing two challengers. She also faces more than a half-million dollars in negative advertisements from out-of-state funders.

Some say money is changing the non-partisan tone of court races in North Carolina. In this race, people are talking about one particular television ad that concludes with:  

“Justice Robin Hudson. Not tough on child molesters. Not fair to victims.”

A picture of a gavel on a document.
creative commons

Elections for seats on the NC Supreme Court are purportedly nonpartisan. But one race this year is already infused with large outside donations and negative advertising. The state's highest court likely will rule on cases regarding redistricting, teacher tenure, voter ID laws and same-sex marriage in the coming year. Those contentious issues make the race for incumbent Democrat Robin Hudson's seat a particularly heated one. Hudson faces Republicans Eric Levinson and Jeannette Doran.

Picture of gavel
Flickr.com

Opponents of the legislative and congressional districts drawn in 2011 by the General Assembly argued in court today that those boundaries should be thrown out.

The effort to scrap the new legislative and congressional boundaries landed in the state Supreme Court today. Attorneys for groups from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to the state NAACP told justices the boundaries for the newly drawn maps are unconstitutional. They want the court to postpone the candidate filing period for this year's elections as well as the May sixth primary date.

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