ACLU

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The ACLU and Lambda Legal have filed a revised lawsuit that says transgender people in North Carolina are still harmed under the law that replaced HB2.

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Rowan County’s practice of having elected officials open meetings with Christian prayer and asking residents to join is unconstitutional. That reverses a previous 2016 decision from the same circuit. 

vote here sign
Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Updated 1:25 p.m.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal seeking to reinstate North Carolina's controversial 2013 overhaul of voting laws, including  voter ID.  The decision lets stand a 2016 appeals court ruling that invalidated the law, saying it targeted African Americans.  Meanwhile, legislative Republicans are vowing to find another way revive an ID requirement for voting. 

Rowan County offices in Salisbury.
Rowan County

The First Amendment prohibits establishment of an official religion in the U.S.  When a government body steers too close to that, federal courts have stepped in to decide what's legal and what's not.  The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, now is considering a case from Rowan County, northeast of Charlotte. At issue is whether county commissioners should be allowed to lead Christian prayers before their meetings. WFAE's David Boraks has been following the case, and talked with All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court will decide whether it's legal for Rowan County's elected commissioners to lead Christian prayers at meetings. All 15 judges on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.

protesters tried to talk to a police officer
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte officials are taking a long look at the city's five-year-old "Extraordinary Event" ordinance. They're trying to gauge whether it works and how it's being used. Critics say it's too stringent and used too often.

Courtesy of Lonnie Billard

A former teacher of the year who was fired from Charlotte Catholic High School after announcing on Facebook that he was marrying his longtime same-sex partner filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the school, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, and Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools of violating Title VII of Civil Rights Act.

NC General Assembly

 


There’s a lot of gray area when it comes to schools and students' use of social media. Lawmakers in North Carolina and several other states are trying to clear up one aspect of it.

It’s easy to record video using a smart phone, but where do you send it if you believe it’s proof of someone’s rights being violated? The ACLU of North Carolina says a new app will take care of that. 

All video that’s taped using the Mobile Justice NC will be sent directly to the ACLU of North Carolina.

Carolyna Manrique is a staff attorney for the group. She says the app makes it easy for users to upload video, no matter the situation.

"Perhaps the person is ordered by the police to stop recording and they’re very quickly being put in handcuffs or something like that. Well, once the person shakes the phone or clicks on stop, it will immediately send the video to us without them having to do anything else," says Manrique.

Manrique says the automatic upload when they shake the phone is important, because the ACLU will get the video immediately, even if the bystander’s phone is confiscated by the police.

North Carolina’s ACLU office is the seventh chapter to offer the app.

Rowan County commissioners can no longer open public meetings with a prayer if it’s given by them. A federal court ruled the practice is discriminatory.

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