Court of Appeals

Chris Brook
ACLU

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday that he has chosen the top lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina and the Democratic governor's chief prison administrator to fill two vacancies on the state Court of Appeals.

In the N.C. Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning. Lawmakers were set to will consider a bill to restore the Court of Appeals to 15 judges. Republicans had reduced the bench from 15 to 12, two years ago.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Some North Carolina Republicans now want to give up on the law they approved two years ago that reduces the number of Court of Appeals judges from 15 to 12 as retirements and other vacancies arise.

Phil Berger Jr.
Phil Berger for Judge Campaign

A familiar name in state politics could have a prime spot on this fall's ballot because of a proposal passed by state lawmakers.

Phil Berger Jr. is the son of Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), one of the most powerful officials in North Carolina. The younger Berger is a former district attorney who again is seeking public office after losing a bid for the state's 6th Congressional District seat in 2014.

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected North Carolina officials' appeal to revive a requirement that abortion providers perform, display and describe an ultrasound for a pregnant woman before she has an abortion.

Gavel
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear oral arguments tomorrow over a North Carolina law that would require abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound and describe the image in detail.

The Republican-led state legislature passed the law back in 2011. It would require abortion providers to show their patients images of an embryo or fetus and describe them.

Six organizations quickly challenged the law, and U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles temporarily blocked the ultrasound requirement.

Gavel
SalFalko / 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.

Thomas Walker
U.S. Attorney's Office (Eastern District)

In the wake of a public reprimand by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the eastern district federal prosecutors office implemented new policies and procedures. The office was scolded by the court for discovery abuse including a pattern of withholding evidence from defendants. 

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that registered sex offenders can use social media websites. The ruling invalidates a portion of a North Carolina law passed in 2008 called the Protect Children From Sexual Predators Act.

Lester Packingham, Jr. brought the case. He's a registered sex offender who lives in Durham. In 2012, Packingham, Jr. was convicted of accessing a commercial social networking site. He had been using Facebook.

`Sea of Greed` is a book by Judge Douglas McCullough reflects back on the Manuel Noriega arrests.
amazon.com

  Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was a infamous figure on the international stage during the 1980s. Before he became a caricature of the "crazy" dictator, he was on the payroll of the CIA and helped the United States gain information on Cuba.

Instant Runoff Count Underway

Nov 29, 2010

Elections officials around the state have started the second phase of vote counting in a Court of Appeals race.

One of this year’s Court of Appeals races is the first statewide contest in the US to use instant runoff voting.  In the general election, voters chose a first, second, and third choice from a field of 13 candidates.   Cressie Thigpen and Doug McCullough were the top two winners as first choice. 

Starting today, elections officials are sorting through ballots on which the first choice was someone else.  Deputy state Elections Director Johnnie McLean: