February 24, 2022 -
With federal courts limiting the scope of protections, voting rights advocates are turning to state courts to challenge election districts for violating state constitutional rights. A recent ruling in North Carolina has given hope to voters who've filed similar lawsuits in other Southern states.
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.
August 26, 2020 -
Southern states are holding judicial elections this year that will shape the outcome of critical cases involving voting rights and criminal justice. The elections could also bring unprecedented diversity to courts in some states.
November 21, 2019 -
The plaintiffs in a racial gerrymandering lawsuit want a North Carolina court to block judicial elections in districts that were drawn last year by the state legislature. In the racially diverse city of Charlotte, three of the eight districts are more than 70 percent white.
July 31, 2019 -
A recent study found that judges in North Carolina and two other states hand down longer sentences during their re-election campaigns. It also confirmed that judges in some states treat black defendants more harshly, with the disparity most pronounced in Alabama.
July 30, 2018 -
North Carolina lawmakers recently called a special session to make major changes to election ballots. The changes aim to influence the outcome of the state Supreme Court election and referenda on constitutional amendments that would give the legislature more power.