The ACLU-NC Presents...

Know and Love Video

Upcoming Events

Winston-Salem Pride
Date: October 18, 2014
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

More Information ...

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
Recent blog posts

Law Enforcement Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse

Posted on in Due Process

by Meghan Jones, ACLU-NC Legal Fellow, and Chris Brook, ACLU-NC Legal Director

Can a police officer’s mistaken interpretation of the law justify a traffic stop?  On Monday, October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument on that question in the case of Heien v. North Carolina.

In 2009, Nicholas Heien was the passenger in a vehicle that had only one operating brake light.  An officer pulled the car over, wrongly believing the vehicle was in violation of the law.  North Carolina plainly requires only one rear brake light, as the North Carolina Court of Appeals recognized in 2011.  That conclusion was so obvious that attorneys for the State did not dispute it before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court ruling that had allowed provisions of North Carolina's restrictive voting law to go into effect before the midterm election. Today's order restores same-day registration and reinstates out-of-precinct provisional voting on Voting Rights Act grounds.The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging those provisions, as well as the elimination of a week of early voting.

"The court's order safeguards the vote for tens of thousands of North Carolinians.  It means they will continue to be able to use same-day registration, just as they have during the last three federal elections," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

"This is a victory for voters in the state of North Carolina,” said Southern Coalition for Social Justice staff attorney Allison Riggs. "The court has rebuked attempts to undermine voter participation."

...

By Mike Meno, ACLU of North Carolina Communications Director

“Why doesn’t the state of North Carolina want people to vote?”

That was the question federal judge James A. Wynn Jr. posed to state attorneys defending North Carolina’s restrictive new voting law in a federal appeals court in Charlotte on Thursday.

...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today on North Carolina's restrictive voting law and whether key provisions can go into effect before the midterm election. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging provisions that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit out-of-precinct voting.

The groups sought to have the provisions halted prior to next summer's trial, but last month a judge ruled the law could go into effect, prompting the appeal. The three-judge appeals panel consisted of Henry F. Floyd, Diana Gribbon Motz, and James A. Wynn Jr.

"Tampering with the right to vote should not be taken lightly," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "The restrictions imposed by this law stand to disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters. If this law is found unconstitutional following next year's trial, voters who were blocked from participating in the midterm election will never get that chance back."

...