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Search results for "Supreme Court" ...

  • Sweepstakes Shutdown

    WNCT-TV launched a two-part investigation in November 2015 examining why a local sheriff and district attorney allowed internet "sweepstakes" cafes to continue operating even though the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a ban on these businesses. The investigation revealed the sheriff and district attorney's legal justification didn't comply with a recent state Supreme Court ruling. Less than two weeks after the investigation aired, the district attorney sent cease-and-desist letters to sweepstakes cafes in his jurisdiction.
  • Concealed Courts: The battle for judicial transparency

    This is an entry for the IRE FIO award. Concealed Courts is a series about how the state judicial branch exempted itself from state open records laws, refused to discuss policies and declined to provide records other government agencies have to release. In the process, I found judicial employees, including Supreme Court justices, moonlighting on state time, some departments releasing information others would not and a total lack of accountability from an agency that spends hundreds of million of tax dollars. In the end, the courts put forth a records policy but by that time my stories prompted the legislature to formulate a bill to be introduced in the 2016 session.
  • The Echo Chamber

    A comprehensive examination of the Supreme Court’s secretive appeals process reveals how a cadre of corporate lawyers wields extraordinary, outsized influence.
  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

    "Forcing the Spring" follows the legal challenge mounted against California's ban on same-sex marriage. It begins with the first efforts to stop Proposition 8 and the campaign to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act all the way to the final moments in the Supreme Court.
  • Following political money in a post-Citizens United world

    The Center for Public Integrity’s “Following political money in a post-Citizens United world” project was produced to help people understand which special interests are trying to influence U.S. elections, specifically by tracking the entities saturating television airwaves ahead of the 2014 elections and by following the money flowing from corporations to politically active nonprofits that generally do not disclose their donors. Together, the Center for Public Integrity’s widely used “Who’s Buying the Senate?” and “Who’s Calling the Shots in the States?” web apps allowed journalists and the General public to see what groups and power players were behind more than 2.5 million TV ads that aired in U.S. Senate races, statewide ballot measures and state-level contests such as gubernatorial elections and state Supreme Court races. Separately, the Center for Public Integrity’s seven-month-long analysis of voluntary corporate filings uncovered more than $173 million given to politically active nonprofits — such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — that have been major players in elections and public policy battles.
  • West Virginia Justice

    The ABC News Investigation into the West Virginia Supreme Court began as an examination into the role of money in judicial elections. But the reporting took an unexpected turn when ABC News made a surprising discovery about one of the Chief Justice’s biggest donors. The attorney had purchased a $1 million airplane from the justice’s husband, just as the biggest case of his career headed to her desk. The report elicited calls for a state ethics investigation. And it revived debate about the role of money in judicial campaigns, and the risk of conflicts between judges and the parties before them.
  • The Echo Chamber

    A comprehensive and original Reuters examination reveals the small group of lawyers that have outsized influence at the U.S. Supreme Court. A comprehensive and original Reuters examination reveals the small group of lawyers that have outsized influence at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Prison Scandal

    In June, The World-Herald reported that prison officials had misapplied state law in setting inmates’ release dates, resulting in hundreds of the state’s worst criminals being released too soon. The errors occurred despite two Nebraska Supreme Court rulings over a 10-year period spelling out how to correctly calculate the release dates. That report turned out to be the first of several related prison scandals that the newspaper would uncover over the next several months.
  • Unguarded

    More than 60,000 Ohioans with court-appointed guardians were neglected or worse during the past decade. Some saw their assets stolen. Some were physically abused. All were victims of unscrupulous guardians and a broken system that purports to protect them. Lack of urgency by the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Attorney General, lawmakers and probate court judges to ensure basic safeguards allowed these people – some of society’s most vulnerable – to become victims. Frustrated families were angry and ashamed as they watched their loved ones die without money or dignity. So-called guardians drained a public servant’s life savings, took family mementos from a grandmother planning to give them to her children and stole paychecks from a young man who is developmentally disabled.
  • The Politics of Justice

    The NewsChannel 5 Investigates team exposed a Republican plan for a false or misleading attack on three Tennessee Supreme Court justices who faced a retention vote in August 2014. Chief investigative reporter Phil Williams relentlessly pressed Tennessee’s second-highest political figure and other activists on their commitment to telling the truth. A leading Republican lawyer called the plan “an unjustified, unwarranted attack on the independence of the judiciary.” Tennessee’s Republican governor, who would get to appoint any new justices, also expressed some concern about the planned attack.