May 4, 2022 -
Republican senators recently grilled Biden judicial nominee Nancy Abudu, a civil rights lawyer who has protected abortion rights and fought voter suppression in the Deep South. Senators also heard from four other nominees, all women of color. At least one nominee has bipartisan support.
April 21, 2022 -
Over protests by the state's Black lawmakers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed his fellow Republicans to adopt a congressional district map that is expected to slash the number of Black representatives for the state. The new map could be challenged in court, but appellate courts have recently sided with the GOP in voting rights cases.
July 1, 2021 -
The president has nominated a record number of people of color to federal courts, but his choice to fill a vacancy on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from the Carolinas, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, is a white man.
June 15, 2021 -
Federal appellate courts in the Deep South are disproportionately white compared to the region's population, but President Joe Biden has pledged to diversify the courts with his nominations. Efforts to expand the region's mostly white state appellate courts could also lead to more diversity on the bench.
May 21, 2021 -
Republican state legislators across the South are making it harder for voters to cast a ballot. Voting rights groups and local officials are suing over the changes, which they argue will disparately impact voters of color and those with disabilities. But the judges with the final say are mostly Republicans.
October 22, 2020 -
As millions of voters cast ballots this month, federal courts in the South shot down attempts to make voting easier during the pandemic, and some relied on a novel argument giving them more power to overrule state courts. The rulings have led to calls to expand the Supreme Court and lower courts if Democrats take the White House and Senate.
July 28, 2020 -
A federal appeals court is allowing Florida to enforce a law that requires payment of court fines and fees before people with felony convictions can vote again. The court is still deciding if it's an illegal poll tax, and Democratic senators say two of the judges are violating ethics rules by remaining on the case.