Bill Rankin

Reporter for Enterprise

Bill Rankin joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989, three years after his father, Jim Rankin, retired from the paper after 26 years. For most of his time at the AJC, Bill has covered criminal justice, legal affairs and Georgia and federal courts.

Latest from Bill Rankin

Atlanta appeals court again rules gays, lesbians not a protected class
 The federal appeals court in Atlanta has once again decided that gays and lesbians are not protected under federal discrimination laws because of their sexual orientation. In a decision issued Wednesday, the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against former Clayton County employee Gerald Lynn Bostock, refusing to reconsider...

Posted: 2 days ago

The federal appeals court in Atlanta has once again decided that gays and lesbians are not protected under federal discrimination laws because of their sexual orientation. In a decision issued Wednesday, the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against former Clayton County employee Gerald Lynn Bostock, refusing to reconsider...
10-year-old girl starved, burned, left in trash; grandmother sues Georgia child services
 A 10-year-old Georgia girl’s death of apparent starvation could have been prevented had the state’s child protection agency thoroughly investigated repeated complaints about the girl’s abuse and neglect, a lawsuit contends. >> Read more trending news  The suit was recently filed by the grandmother of Emani...

Posted: 8 days ago

A 10-year-old Georgia girl’s death of apparent starvation could have been prevented had the state’s child protection agency thoroughly investigated repeated complaints about the girl’s abuse and neglect, a lawsuit contends. >> Read more trending news  The suit was recently filed by the grandmother of Emani...
Georgia welfare officials sued over 10-year-old starved and left in trash
 A 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl’s death of apparent starvation could have been prevented had Georgia’s child protection agency thoroughly investigated repeated complaints about the girl’s abuse and neglect, a lawsuit contends. The suit was recently filed by the grandmother of Emani Moss, whose emaciated, burned body was...

Posted: 8 days ago

A 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl’s death of apparent starvation could have been prevented had Georgia’s child protection agency thoroughly investigated repeated complaints about the girl’s abuse and neglect, a lawsuit contends. The suit was recently filed by the grandmother of Emani Moss, whose emaciated, burned body was...
Trump packs influential Atlanta court with conservative judges
 President Donald Trump’s plan to quickly reshape the nation’s federal appeals courts has taken hold in Atlanta, with the infusion of two conservative jurists and another one on the way. Trump’s imprint on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals all but guarantees it will remain one of the nation’s more conservative...

Posted: 16 days ago

President Donald Trump’s plan to quickly reshape the nation’s federal appeals courts has taken hold in Atlanta, with the infusion of two conservative jurists and another one on the way. Trump’s imprint on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals all but guarantees it will remain one of the nation’s more conservative...
Gwinnett stepmom turns to divine guidance in death-penalty case
 Tiffany Moss faces a death-penalty prosecution for allegedly starving her stepdaughter to death, and she’s facing it alone. Against the advice of practically everyone associated with her case, Moss, saying it’s God’s will, announced plans to represent herself when she goes on trial for murder in Gwinnett County. The...

Posted: 24 days ago

Tiffany Moss faces a death-penalty prosecution for allegedly starving her stepdaughter to death, and she’s facing it alone. Against the advice of practically everyone associated with her case, Moss, saying it’s God’s will, announced plans to represent herself when she goes on trial for murder in Gwinnett County. The...
Trump’s short list for high court includes two Georgia justices
 Two justices on the Georgia Supreme Court are among 25 names on President Donald Trump’s list of possible replacements for Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. And Keith Blackwell and Britt Grant both have qualities Trump may be looking for. They have strong conservative credentials and are relatively young, meaning they...

Posted: 24 days ago

Two justices on the Georgia Supreme Court are among 25 names on President Donald Trump’s list of possible replacements for Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. And Keith Blackwell and Britt Grant both have qualities Trump may be looking for. They have strong conservative credentials and are relatively young, meaning they...
Court disbars lawyer who represented Atlanta art collector
 A protracted legal battle that ensnared a veteran lawyer, a trailblazing Atlanta art collector and prized works by a legendary Southern folk artist drew to a close Monday with the state Supreme Court disbarring the attorney from ever practicing law again. The court, by a 5-4 ruling, disbarred Gary Coulter for “exceptionally serious&rdquo...

10:59 PM Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

A protracted legal battle that ensnared a veteran lawyer, a trailblazing Atlanta art collector and prized works by a legendary Southern folk artist drew to a close Monday with the state Supreme Court disbarring the attorney from ever practicing law again. The court, by a 5-4 ruling, disbarred Gary Coulter for “exceptionally serious&rdquo...
Court: Sandy Springs can ban alcohol sales at strip clubs
 Sandy Springs can ban the sale of alcohol at strip clubs and other adult establishments within its city limits, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday. Maxim Cabaret, now known as the Coronet Club, first filed a lawsuit against the city a dozen years ago, shortly after Sandy Springs became incorporated. The suit contends the city&rsquo...

7:00 PM Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

Sandy Springs can ban the sale of alcohol at strip clubs and other adult establishments within its city limits, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday. Maxim Cabaret, now known as the Coronet Club, first filed a lawsuit against the city a dozen years ago, shortly after Sandy Springs became incorporated. The suit contends the city&rsquo...
Payday lending group loses lawsuit over record release
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled that correspondence between a Kennesaw State University professor and a payday lending organization she conducted a study for is subject to disclosure under the state’s open records laws. The ruling, hailed by open government advocates, means that Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based...

5:19 PM Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled that correspondence between a Kennesaw State University professor and a payday lending organization she conducted a study for is subject to disclosure under the state’s open records laws. The ruling, hailed by open government advocates, means that Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based...
Military spouse goes to court to become Georgia lawyer
 COLUMBUS — Harriet O’Neal knew her life as the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain could be frequently uprooted. Such was the case last year when her husband was transferred to Fort Benning from a posting in rural Louisiana. O’Neal, a lawyer, took solace in the fact Georgia is one of 29 states in the country that gives...

4:13 PM Friday, Jun. 15, 2018

COLUMBUS — Harriet O’Neal knew her life as the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain could be frequently uprooted. Such was the case last year when her husband was transferred to Fort Benning from a posting in rural Louisiana. O’Neal, a lawyer, took solace in the fact Georgia is one of 29 states in the country that gives...
Drug kingpin 'La Barbie' gets 49-year sentence for 'despicable' crimes
 Edgar Valdez Villareal came from humble beginnings, one of eight children raised by strict, hard-working and God-fearing parents in the southwest Texas border town of Laredo. But by age 28, Valdez was shipping hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. And he ran his drug operation with military precision, using speedboats, submarines...

4:07 PM Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018

Edgar Valdez Villareal came from humble beginnings, one of eight children raised by strict, hard-working and God-fearing parents in the southwest Texas border town of Laredo. But by age 28, Valdez was shipping hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. And he ran his drug operation with military precision, using speedboats, submarines...