They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

After a costly legal battle that has ricocheted all the way up to the Supreme Court, North Carolina may end up in court yet again over GOP officials' ongoing efforts to restrict access to the ballot box -- particularly for minority voters.

The latest round of brass knuckles politics and legal maneuvering comes in the midst of a larger battle over a regimen of voting restrictions considered to be among the harshest in the nation. The Supreme Court weighed in Wednesday, refusing to allow those restrictions to take effect before the November elections. But even as the Supreme Court was issuing its order, a hard-fought skirmish over early voting is underway across the state.

Dozens of GOP-controlled county election boards are currently trying to limit early voting, and the state election board is poised to wade into what could be a lengthy county-by-county fight over how much early voting should be allowed. All of this comes after a federal appeals court already ruled that cutbacks in early voting and other voting restrictions were intentionally discriminatory against African American voters.

It's a complicated interplay of politics, legal wrangling, and bureaucratic processes -- but the impact on the November election and on voting rights law generally is potentially significant.

Here's how it breaks down.

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While setting bond in May for a man charged with a violent assault on his Lebanese neighbor, a Tulsa County, Oklahoma judge admitted that it would create a “precarious” situation to have the man return to his home. Yet he set bond anyway without conditions.

Ten weeks later, on Aug. 13, Stanley Vernon Majors was charged for allegedly murdering that same neighbor’s son.

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When Mohammad Abu-Salha learned that an Oklahoma man had been arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting his Lebanese-American neighbor last week, he felt a sickening sense of déjà vu.

In February 2015, Abu-Salha's daughters, Yusor and Razan, and his son-in-law, Deah Barakat, were fatally shot, execution-style, in their apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Prosecutors say neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks confessed to the triple homicide.

“We felt it’s a copycat case,” Mohammad Abu-Salha told TPM in a Wednesday phone interview.

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Donald Trump’s recent waffling on his hardline immigration stances has put some of his most ardent and earliest supporters -- many of them self-proclaimed white nationalists, members of the alt right community or longtime immigration foes -- on the defensive, as they try to rationalize what the perceived shifts mean for their movements.

Alt-right activist Nathan Damigo pleaded for Trump to meet with prominent white nationalists now that the candidate has hosted a roundtable for Hispanic leaders. Ann Coulter went on a Twitter rant about Trump adopting the principles of immigration reform. Mark Krikorian, whose anti-immigrant think tank has been cited by Trump's campaign, compared the GOP nominee to Archie Bunker and said his campaign was "groping" towards real policy, albeit "clumsily and badly." The leader of the white nationalist American Freedom Party William Johnson was less distressed, suggesting Trump was merely tweaking the language around his mass deportation proposals to make them "palatable" for a "rising generation."

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In an opinion that went largely unnoticed, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that had the effect of making most stealing offenses no longer felonies thanks to an apparently inadvertent change to state law way back in 2002. The far-reaching decision sent criminal defense attorneys across the state scrambling.

The case – State v. Bazell – was brought by a woman who had been convicted of multiples felonies for stealing firearms, among other things, in a burglary case. The court said the firearm felonies should be knocked down to misdemeanors because a portion of the state's criminal code designating certain types of offenses as felonies is written in a way that doesn’t make it applicable to the state’s definition of stealing itself.

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A grieving Lebanese family in Oklahoma says the judicial system did not do enough to keep them safe from a next-door neighbor arrested on suspicion of murdering their loved one.

In interviews with TPM, local attorneys and a professor who researches stalking said that the years of ethnic harassment and physical abuse that Stanley Vernon Majors directed towards his neighbors, the Jabaras, provided a Tulsa County judge with ample evidence of the grave threat he posed. Yet those legal experts also weren't surprised Majors was allowed to go free on bail in the face of that evidence.

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Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma were called to respond to altercations between a Lebanese Christian family and their next-door neighbor twice in the past year. In both cases, members of the Jabara family were violently injured shortly after officers came to investigate the initial complaints.

Stanley Vernon Majors was charged last September with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, among other charges, for allegedly striking matriarch Haifa Jabara with his car hours after calling police on the family over a parking violation. Having been released from jail in May on reduced bond for that hit-and-run, Majors was then booked on suspicion of murder for the fatal shooting of Khalid Jabara Friday night.

That shooting occurred just minutes after police left the East Avenue street where the neighbors lived. Khalid Jabara had called in a suspicious activity complaint, after reportedly learning from Majors' husband that Majors had acquired a gun and hearing tapping on his window. Officers were unable to make contact with Majors, however.

This disturbing pair of events had long roots that took hold soon after Majors moved from southern California to Tulsa in 2011.

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