Articles by Nicole Masarova

Case Law

North Carolina League of Conservation Voters v. Hall (Harper v. Hall)

April 7, 2022 Nicole Masarova 0

Facts: Gerrymandering was a tool used heavily during the late 90s and early 2000s,  in cases such as Shaw v. Reno and Vieth v. Jubelirer. It is an intentional attempt to increase the power of one political party in approaching elections through the manipulation of district mapping. Harper v. Hall is a case that demonstrates that the practice remains pervasive in modern politics. Filed on November 17, 2021, the case was centered on a recent gerrymandering attempt in North Carolina. The claim asserted that the proposed maps for the 2022 elections, also called the Enacted Congressional Plan, violated the “Free Elections Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and Free Speech and Free Assembly Clauses” of the North Carolina Constitution, which would thus violate the right to a fair and equal election. The goal of the suit was to block the adoption of these maps, with the hope of redrafting them. However, if […]

Case Law

Leandro v. State of North Carolina

February 16, 2022 Nicole Masarova 0

For the last 28 years, North Carolina public school districts have been fighting to provide all students with the right to a “sound basic education.”  In 1994, five low-income school districts (Cumberland, Halifax, Hoke, Robeson, and Vance Counties) and families of those districts filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina for failing to provide “equal opportunity to a sound basic education.” The case was named Leandro after Robert Leandro, one of the children whose mother filed a lawsuit. During the lawsuit, a “sound basic education” was defined as one that includes trained teachers and principles, who receive additional, specialized training, with a school that can provide educational resources and support programs for learning capabilities or career development. The claim argued these basic necessities were not met, providing evidence of overcrowding in classrooms, a lack of resources, and poorly trained teachers. Hoke County, for example, only had about $3700 […]

Case Law

In Re Pool

December 15, 2021 Nicole Masarova 0

Facts/Holding:  On June 11, 2021, the North Carolina Supreme Court concluded that censure of Judge Pool was appropriate, following a recommendation by the Judicial Standards Commission.  Censure is a formal statement of disapproval, with no physical or monetary consequences. It is a legal action often taken when a judge, cabinet member, or the president conducts themselves in a manner that violates the Code of Conduct they agree to when entering a position in government.  In the case of In Re Pool, C. Randy Pool had presided over a North Carolina general district court as a judge for 18 years, serving as a Chief Judge from 2006 until his retirement in November 2019. In 2019, a woman attempted to extort former Judge Pool by threatening to share sexually explicit messages the two shared if the former judge refused to pay her $5,000. This launched an investigation by the Judicial Standards Commission, […]

Case Law

Hog Farm Lawsuits of North Carolina

November 8, 2021 Nicole Masarova 0

Facts:  Murphy-Brown, a branch of the hog-production-industry superpower, Smithfield, was sued in 2014 by over 500 citizens in North Carolina for environmental damage, affecting community health and property enjoyment. These claims were condensed into 26 cases, the first five of which went to trial. Of those five, Murphy-Brown attempted to appeal one district court’s decision to a Fourth Circuit Court which rejected the appeal in November 2020. The decision of the district court heavily stemmed from damages citizens suffered as a result of these hog farms processing pigs at a massive scale. The pigs were held in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), essentially metal warehouses where pigs risked suffocation due to the close proximity. Because workers were unable to clean fecal waste in such confined spaces, metal slats in the floor collected and ejected the waste into open-air lagoons. In this particular case, the hog farm produced 153,000 pounds of […]