Archives

Uncategorized

Don’t forget to RSVP for next Tuesday’s N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation, “Why courts matter (and why North Carolinians should be paying a lot more attention to them)” – featuring the Honorable James A. Wynn, Jr., Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

If there’s one branch of modern government that’s, at once, more important and more neglected by caring and thoughtful Americans than the federal judiciary, it’s hard to say what that would be. Despite its enormous importance and influence in shaping our society, the judiciary – the cases before it, the decisions it renders, and the people who comprise it – receives far less attention than it (and they) deserve.

Here in North Carolina, a seat on the Federal District Court for the Eastern District has remained vacant for seven years with scarcely a ripple of public attention.

Why is this the case? More importantly, what are the prospects for changing this dynamic and how might we go about it?

Please join us as one of North Carolina’s most distinguished jurists shares his thoughts on these and other related questions.

Click here to register. Read More

Uncategorized

NC Policy Watch and the North Carolina Justice Center are proud to announce a very special Crucial Conversation luncheon:  

Judge WynnWhy courts matter (and why North Carolinians should be paying a lot more attention to them)
Featuring the Honorable James A. Wynn, Jr., Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

When: Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 12 noon – (Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.)

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. at the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s Streets).

Cost: $10 – includes a box lunch (lunches will be available at 11:45).
Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Click here to register. Read More

Uncategorized

Here’s a quick rundown of courts-related bills filed in the General Assembly this session:

HB 161 Provides magistrates are subject to same mandatory retirement age as judges, but applies only to those becoming magistrates after January 2015. Passed House, in Senate Committee on Pensions.

HB 199 Increases district court civil jurisdiction from $10,000 to $25,000. Passed House, in Senate Rules Committee.

HB 246 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides a person with concealed carry permit may carry anywhere in state except in limited, specified locations including a courthouse. In House Rules Committee.

HB 397  Expands eligibility for District Court Judgeship to include elected sheriffs with 10 year experience; clerks of superior court with 10 years experience; magistrates with 10 years experience; anyone with 25 years law enforcement experience. In House Rules Committee.

HB 405 Allows judges to carry firearms Read More

Uncategorized

Just released this afternoon….

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21 February 2013

The NC NAACP once again urges Senators Burr and Hagan to help put an end to the historic exclusion of African American judges from the US District Court for the Eastern District in North Carolina with the pending appointment by the President. There has never been, in our history, a African American Judge on the bench in US District Court for the Eastern District of NC. The NC NAACP issued a letter to the Senators on October 25, 2011 urging the Senators to do the same. And on January 23, 2013 we wrote a private letter to the Senators, this time requesting a meeting to discuss the issue further. Senator Hagan has responded. However we are respectfully awaiting a response from Senator Burr’s office to schedule a meeting. We are now writing Senator Burr publicly with hopes that he will take the time to meet with civil rights leaders representing many of his constituents in NC before any decisions are made

We look forward to both a response for a meeting and for your efforts to right the historic wrongs when it comes to appointments to the US District Courts in North Carolina.

You can read the January letter by clicking here.

 

Uncategorized

With the in-state news so universally dreadful this week, a body is forced to look elsewhere to find some shreds of hope.

Here’s at least one non-NC item that might even portend something good for our state: Today, President Obama appointed an excellent lawyer named Jane Kelley to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. As you may or may not already know, the Eighth Circuit is headquartered in Kansas City and covers seven Midwestern states: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Here’s another fact about the Eighth Circuit: In the history of that court, there have been 57 justices. Of that number, 56 have been men. We’re not making this up. 

The President’s selection of Kelly will make it two out of 58 — still awful, but, hey, 3.4% is better than 1.8%. It’s a start, anyway.

And what is the implication for North Carolina, you ask? Read More