NC courts are short of personnel, and that threatens justice
Dec. 2, 2013
What happens when courts are overloaded with cases, when the technology system that supports those courts is woefully outdated and when judges, rather than get adequate funding from the state, have to go to counties for money?
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Since 1971, the North Carolina Felony Firearms Act, G.S. § 14-415.1 et seq, has generally banned felons from owning or possessing firearms. But the Act, its applicability and constitutionality are far from settled. The General Assembly has amended the Act several times over the years to further restrict felons’ firearms rights. But more recently it altered this course, responding to new constitutional standards articulated by the North Carolina Supreme Court in Britt v. State, by amending the Act to provide for a firearms rights restoration process. 363 N.C. 546 (2009). This paper explains the major provisions of the Felony Firearms Act, particularly firearms rights restoration, in light of Britt and the decision of the Court of Appeals in Baysden v. State. ___ N.C. App. ___, 718 S.E.2d 699 (2011).
This quick reference guide summarizes the North Carolina Felony Firearms Act, its applicability, relevant exceptions, firearm restoration rights, and important court cases dealing with the Act’s constitutionality
As lawsuits attacking North Carolina’s voting and election law reforms proceed through the courts, opponents of such reforms will argue that various provisions of the new law are unconstitutional. The voter photo identification argument appears to have attracted the most attention and the lawsuits have raised some concerns about the constitutionality of voter ID requirements. These concerns will be addressed and dispelled by analyzing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd., 553 U.S. 181 (2008), a case challenging Indiana’s Voter-ID law. To date, this is the only Voter-ID case that the Supreme Court has considered (however, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Arizona’s Voter-ID law on March 18, 2013). In a 6-3 decision, the Court refused to strike down Indiana’s Voter-ID law.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wasn’t persuaded last week by a petition that asked the Supreme Court to review the fairness of the settlement of a lawsuit against Facebook. He joined his eight colleagues in deciding against hearing the case. No big deal there. The case, Marek v. Lane, was one of nearly 300 appeals the justices turned down upon their return from a two-week recess.
The state legislature last year reversed course on limits to pre-kindergarten programs for poor children, effectively resolving a legal challenge, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.