Associated Press

Judges Seek Briefs After N Carolina Remapping Case Returned

A federal judicial panel is seeking input from lawyers in a North Carolina redistricting case that the U.S. Supreme Court decided needs more work. The judges ruled in January the state’s congressional boundaries were illegal partisan gerrymanders. The ruling was appealed. The Supreme Court on Monday vacated that ruling and told the judges to examine the matter in light of another recent decision. The justices found Wisconsin voters who sued over legislative boundaries had not proven they have the right to bring their case in court. On Wednesday, the three judges asked attorneys for advocacy groups, Democratic voters and...

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N Carolina Lawmakers Override Early Voting, Farm Bill Vetoes

The North Carolina legislature has overridden Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes on Republican bills altering early in-person voting and restricting litigation by neighbors of large livestock operations who have complained about odors. The House completed the overrides Wednesday following similar Senate votes Tuesday. The two bills are now state law. The early-voting measure adjusts the current 17-day period by eliminating the final Saturday before an election and moving up the start by one day. All early voting sites also would be open 12 hours a day on weekdays. A wide-ranging farm bill contains language sought by pork producers after...

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Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment Going to Voters

Voters will be asked this fall to decide whether to change the North Carolina Constitution to rework a current section that lays out the rights of crime victims. The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to accept changes in the proposed constitutional amendment made by the Senate. Now the item will be placed on all ballots in the state this November in an up-or-down referendum. Supporters say the amendment known as “Marsy’s Law” would expand rights already in the state constitution approved by voters two decades ago. The changes make clear victims can go to court and seek redress when they...

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Voting, Farm Bills Among 7 Vetoed by N Carolina Governor

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed seven bills just before a Monday night deadline, deciding to block Republican proposals to alter early in-person voting and restrict nuisance litigation that neighbors of big livestock operations could file in North Carolina. Faced with acting on nearly four dozen measures on his desk before a 10-day window in the constitution expired at midnight, Cooper signed 32 of the bills. The fate of six others was unclear, although anything not acted upon by the deadline would automatically become law. Republicans are expected to try to override the vetoes before they wrap up this year’s...

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear North Carolina Districting Dispute

The Supreme Court is choosing not to take on a new case on partisan redistricting for now. Instead, the justices are sending a dispute over North Carolina’s heavily Republican congressional districting map back to a lower court for more work. The court’s order Monday follows a ruling last week in which it declared that Wisconsin voters who sued over the state’s GOP-drawn legislative districts had not proven they have the right to bring their case in court. The justices ordered the court in North Carolina to examine the same issue. On the surface, the North Carolina case doesn’t appear...

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Judge Mulls Letting Bathroom Bill Fight Proceed

A federal judge needs time to consider whether transgender plaintiffs can proceed with a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina law that replaced the state’s “bathroom bill.” U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments Monday over a request by Republican lawmakers to dismiss the lawsuit. He said at the end of the hearing that he would issue a ruling at a later date. Transgender plaintiffs say they’re still being harmed by the compromise bill passed in 2017. But lawyers for GOP legislative leaders say they can’t prove the new law is harming them. The University of North Carolina, which is...

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March Primary, Opioid Crime Measures Signed by Cooper

North Carolina’s even-year primary elections are moving from May to March and police will get a new tool to track illegal opioid transactions with Gov. Roy Cooper signing nearly 30 bills into law. Cooper announced Friday he’s signed one-third of the more than 75 bills on his desk that must be acted on by either Sunday or Monday. Bills neither signed nor vetoed by the deadlines become law automatically. The primary date shift begins in 2020 for presidential primaries, along with races for governor, congress and scores of federal, state and local positions. Lawmakers set a March 2016 primary...

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Thwarted Before, Republicans Seek Photo ID Through Amendment

North Carolina Republicans have been thwarted by veto and federal judges this decade to require photo identification to vote. Now they’re hoping state residents will cement the mandate by amending the state constitution. A House committee voted Thursday along party lines for a measure that would ask voters this November to enshrine this voter ID photo requirement in the constitution. The bill’s next stop is the House floor in the final days of this year’s legislative session. The Senate also would have to approve the idea before the question is submitted to voters. Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a voter...

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In Reversal, Trump Signs Order Stopping Family Separation

Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally. It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents — images that...

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Republicans Finish Override on 2 Cooper Election-Bill Vetoes

Two election-related bills have become North Carolina law despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s formal objections to each. The House voted Wednesday to override Cooper’s vetoes on both measures, copying what the Senate did Tuesday. One measure alters Superior Court election district boundaries in Mecklenburg County and directs that District Court judges no longer be elected countywide in both Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Now voters in those two counties will elect only a few based on where they live. The other vetoed bill will require criminal background checks for key state and county election officials and put new restrictions on candidates...

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