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Updated: 2 hours 36 min ago

The crowd to whom Tillis and Berger have turned

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 09:08
It’s frequently the case with last-ditch efforts in politics that the groups or individuals trying to stave off the final chapter in an inevitable drama — the classic example would be the last days of a corrupt regime like, say, Richard Nixon’s — are forced to turn to a rather motley cast characters for support. ...

Judge gives noon Friday deadline to GOP for legal arguments in N.C. same-sex marriage case

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 23:24
Just in: Judge Osteen denies #ncga leaders' request for a week's delay on SSM ruling, gives noon Fri deadline for intervenor brief. #wral — WRAL Gov't Coverage (@NCCapitol) October 10, 2014 Thursday night after Tillis and Berger filed a motion seeking 8 days to compile legal arguments against marriage equality, Chief U.S. District Court Judge ...

Tillis and Berger file motion to block same sex marriages in NC – brief attached

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 18:29
As reported, and just in time for tonight’s U.S. Senate debate between state speaker Thom Tillis and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, the speaker and his counterpart in the state senate President Phil Berger have moved to intervene in two of the lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage. The brief filed in support of their motion is here.

Tillis, Berger meet Federal judge’s 5 p.m. deadline for GOP to intervene in N.C. same-sex marriage cases

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 16:34
.@ThomTillis + Phil Berger's motion to intervene on #NC marriage equality via @HRC: #DayOneNC — Equality NC (@equalitync) October 9, 2014 With Attorney General Roy Cooper refusing to defend Amendment One in the courts, Tillis and Berger have formally filed to intervene, retaining John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage as primary counsel ...

Legislative leaders: Standing in the courthouse door

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 14:38
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out today’s Fitzsimon File in which Chris explains the current state of the debate over marriage equality in North Carolina. The quick takeaways: #1 – There is cause for joy and celebration that the end of this particular form of discrimination is finally coming to ...

Will pro-gun activists spoil the 2014 State Fair?

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 13:09
It’s beginning to look that way. reports that: “A gun rights group on Thursday asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the state agriculture department from banning lawfully concealed weapons at the North Carolina State Fair, which starts next week.” Doesn’t that make you want to be ride on “The Vortex” or some ...

Ninety percent of private schools receiving taxpayer-funded vouchers are religious institutions

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:38
Religious private schools account for 90 percent of those receiving the state’s new taxpayer-funded school vouchers—a disproportionately high amount given that only 66.4 percent of the state’s 715 private schools are religious institutions. According to data released by the N.C. State Educational Assistance Authority, 98 out of the 109 private schools that have received vouchers ...

With same-sex marriages expected to start any moment, NC DHHS delays issuing new marriage license forms

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 09:30
While North Carolina awaits a federal judge’s signal that same-sex couples can marry, county registers of deeds don’t know when they’ll get the necessary forms from the state health agency to marry those couples. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week to not take up cases about same-sex marriage paved the way for gay ...

Carolina comedown continues; McCrory administration finally offers a glimmer of recognition and hope

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 09:29
The lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning rightfully laments the fact that North Carolina’s economic recovery appears to be petering out while other states rebound more quickly. In the end, however, there’s no mystery. The persistence of unemployment points to how badly the job market deteriorated and how tax cuts and spending ...

Decision to uphold voter suppression law means tomorrow is registration deadline

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 07:00
There’s still significant hope that North Carolina’s new voter suppression laws will eventually be sent to the trash bin where they belong — either by the courts, future state leaders or both. For now, however, North Carolinians will have to make do under the current rigged regime if they want to make their voices heard. ...

Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court stays Fourth Circuit ruling on same-day registration and out-of-precinct ballots

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 19:26
There will be no same-day registration and out-of-precinct provisional ballots will not be counted during the upcoming election, as the U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the Fourth Circuit order reinstating those voting provisions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissented from the court’s opinion: The Court of Appeals determined that at least ...

Great new resources to encourage early voting

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 15:50
The good people at the NC Conservation Network have created two excellent new websites to use and share as widely as possible in order to encourage participation in the upcoming election: First, is an interactive map of North Carolina early voting locations and times. Click here to check it out. It’s a great way for ...

Poll indicates teachers are warming up to Common Core

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 13:38
In case you missed it, the Education Writers Association blog has an interesting story about teacher attitudes toward Common Core. Here is the opening: In a new survey, teachers say they’re feeling more confident about using the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms — an optimistic finding that comes even as recent polls suggest ...

Editorial boards across NC: Let Fourth Circuit ruling stand, Justice Roberts

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:02
At least eight of North Carolina’s leading newspapers have now published editorials in support of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that the November election should go ahead without the voter suppression bans on same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. The Asheville Citizen-Times, the Burlington Times-News, the Charlotte Observer, the Greensboro News & Record, ...

Still no word from the Supreme Court on voting rights?

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 10:11
It’s now been three days since the U.S. Supreme Court received the briefing it requested from the parties in the state’s voting rights challenge. And while attorneys have continued to advise the justices on activity here, there’s been no ruling from the high court on the state’s emergency application. What’s going on? Election law expert ...

Charlotte Observer on battle to stop marriage equality: “Write the check, Mr. Tillis”

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 07:58
In case you missed it, this Charlotte Observer editorial puts things very succinctly and accurately when it comes to the narrow-minded, wasteful and just plain pigheaded stances of North Carolina’s House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem on the inevitable and impending  legalization of same-sex marriage in North Carolina: Write the check, Mr. Tillis. If ...

Tillis, Hagan lock horns over Common Core, teacher pay, and per-pupil spending (video)

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 21:24
Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis faced off Tuesday night in their second senatorial debate prior to the the Nov. 4 election. Just like their first debate, the two were quickly at odds over education spending. Watch an excerpt of their hour-long debate below: To watch the entire debate, click here.

State tells federal court no difficulties restoring same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:58
Contrary to arguments it made at various stages of the voting rights cases here, the state today told U. S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder that implementing the Fourth Circuit’s order restoring same day registration and out-of-precinct voting would be “simple.” That representation came as the parties awaited a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on ...

Federal court strikes Virgina congressional redistricting map

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:41
In a 2-1 decision, a federal court in Virginia today rejected part of that state’s congressional map, saying that it amounted to an impermissible racial gerrymander. Here’s election law expert Rick Hasen on the decision: The majority ruled that the redistricting involving a majority-minority district violated the equal protection clause as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander (a Shaw ...

Environmental group questions why NC DENR calls Wilmington coal-ash site a “low” hazard

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:20
An environmental law firm says the state agency tasked with protecting natural resources downplayed the dangers of toxic coal-ash storage ponds in Wilmington by ranking dams there a “low hazard.” The Southern Environmental Law Center sent a letter Thursday to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources refuting the state agency’s 2013 assessment that ...