Judge Boyle has been reversed by the Supreme Court in several decisions favoring white plaintiff voters in redistricting cases. These include opinions he authored in Cromartie v. Hunt, (Cromartie I), 34 F. Supp 2d 1029 (E.D.N.C. 1998), rev’d 526 U.S. 541 (1999), and Cromartie v. Hunt (Cromartie II), 133 F. Supp. 2d 407 (E.D.N.C. 2000), rev’d sub nom Easley v. Cormartie, 532 U.S. 234 (2001). In addition, in Cannon v. North Carolina State Board of Education, 917 F.Supp. 387 (E.D.N.C.
In criminal cases, the Fourth Circuit defines a “plain error” as one that is obvious, detrimentally affects the rights of the defendant, and is so egregious as to implicate the “fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. . .” United States v. Bellamy, 264 F.3d 448, 445 (4th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 1143 (2002). This very strong language makes it clear that plain error is not a term used by the Circuit to describe harmless or justifiable mistakes.