Defend democracy in the South.

judicial independence

N.C. high court backs down on conflicts of interest after GOP threats

January 13, 2022 - A Republican justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit filed against his father, the leader of the state Senate, over whether a racially gerrymandered legislature can amend the constitution. The decision came after his colleagues decided not to disqualify him, amid a pressure campaign by powerful conservative forces that accused the court of engaging in a coup and threatened justices with impeachment.

With big business backing, GOP revamps appellate courts in Southern states

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.

Court packing in coal country

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.