April 28, 2021 -
Republican-controlled legislatures are restructuring the judicial branches in three Southern states in ways that could benefit the GOP and threaten judicial diversity. By contrast, legislatures in several other states in the region could expand appellate courts in ways that foster greater diversity on the bench.
April 8, 2021 -
The Texas legislature may consolidate the state's appeals courts, where Democrats have gained seats in recent elections — and watchdogs say the changes could violate the Voting Rights Act. The plan is being pushed by a big business group that has spent nearly $1 million to back GOP judicial candidates. A new West Virginia appeals court also had the support of big business.
September 25, 2019 -
Elections for high courts in five Southern states will take place over the next year, including special elections in Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana. Some of these courts are already facing unprecedented political pressure, and more money in high court races is coming from groups that don't disclose their donors.
January 24, 2019 -
Legislators in Kentucky and West Virginia are discussing constitutional amendments to give governors unprecedented control over choosing judges, who are currently elected. The moves are part of a broader trend of Republican politicians asserting more control over the judiciary.
October 18, 2018 -
As Republicans in Florida and West Virginia were about to replace most of the members of their supreme courts, the courts asserted their independence and blocked the partisan moves. But North Carolina's high court still faces the threat of a GOP takeover plan.
August 17, 2018 -
The entire West Virginia Supreme Court — already in the crosshairs of corporate special interests — was recently impeached by the Republican-controlled state House for overspending, lavish renovations, and, in the case of one justice, criminal corruption charges. But Democrats see what's happening as a GOP power grab that comes amid a broader trend of conservative attacks on the judiciary.
December 14, 2017 -
Daniel Boyd's graphic novel "Carbon" features a villain modeled on former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who just completed a prison stint for his role in the deadly 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia. We talked with Boyd about Blankenship's political aspirations and his state's troubled relationship with coal.