On Friday a Court of Appeals decision from earlier this year went into effect, allowing North Carolinians with felony convictions who are on parole, probation, or another form of state supervision to register to vote. The voting rights of these groups are still under litigation, but for now felony disenfranchisement has ended for all but people who are currently serving prison sentences for felonies in North Carolina, and many state residents with a felony conviction who have previously been barred from voting will be able to vote in November’s elections.
Republican leaders in the NC General Assembly asked a federal court to lift an injunction blocking the state’s 20-week abortion ban. Federal Judge William Osteen Jr. had blocked enforcement of the law in 2019, but Republicans argue that given the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, the law should be reinstated. Last week North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein had said that he would not ask the court to lift the injunction. The law bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.
On Monday a federal judge sided with NC Attorney General Josh Stein in a suit brought by his campaign claiming that an NC law banning the publication of “derogatory” falsehoods about politicians is unconstitutional. Stein’s campaign is under criminal investigation for potentially violating the law in a 2020 campaign ad criticizing his Republican opponent for a backlog of rape kits in his home county, but as long as the temporary restraining order issued by the judge on Monday stands, the Wake County District Attorney’s office will not be able to bring charges against Stein under the law.