NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 39 min 23 sec ago

Thom Tillis’ disingenuous “opposition” to the obstruction of an Obama Supreme Court nominee

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 10:03
It looks like the advice of political pros has begun to sink in with national GOP leaders and they’re starting to back off slightly from their absurd “no way, no how” stance when it comes to considering an Obama Supreme Court nominee in 2016. How else to explain the fact that they’ve allowed a junior, ...

Now, General Assembly leaders are just messing with us

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:39
There’s something that’s just irresistible to some politicians about playing the role of bully. Maybe there’s some Freudian explanation traceable to schoolyard abuses of years gone by, but whatever the psychological explanations, it’s clear that North Carolina Republican lawmakers are just messing with us now because they can. Having manufactured a crisis by drawing racially ...

Redistricting challengers respond to state’s request for SCOTUS emergency stay

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 13:45
Saying that the state manufactured its own “crisis” by first drafting blatantly unconstitutional voting maps and then moving up the primary elections from May to March while those maps were being challenged in court, the challengers to Congressional Districts 1 and 12 today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the state’s request for an emergency ...

Court of Appeals sends constitutional claims of eugenics victim heirs to three-judge panel

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 12:38
In a 2-1 decision today, the Court of Appeals ruled that heirs of eugenics victims who contend that they were unconstitutionally denied relief under the state’s Eugenics Asexualization and Sterilization Compensation Program must first present their claims to a three-judge panel before seeking appellate review. The heirs in the three separate cases before the court had all been denied compensation ...

State right to “take” property under the Map Act back at the Supreme Court

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:00
The state Supreme Court is hearing argument this morning in a case challenging the Department of Transportation’s right to control land use in areas where it intends to build roads, as set forth in the decades-old Map Act. Pursuant to that Act, the DOT can file a map with the local register of deeds identifying ...

Editorial: Hypocritical Burr should pledge not to vote on important matters until after election

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 07:08
The Greensboro News & Record hits the nail on the head this morning with a lead editorial deriding the absurd hypocrisy of Senators Richard Burr, Thom Tillis and others on the question of the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia: “’In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity ...

Trending today at the General Assembly – #redistricting reform and redrawing NC’s congressional maps (w/ audio)

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 14:15
Legislative leaders got an earful Monday from those attending six public hearings across the state to discuss redrawing two of North Carolina’s congressional districts. Here’s a sampling of those remarks from social media: I challenge anyone to defend the morality of partisan redistricting. It can't be done. #ncga — Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) February 15, ...

Editorial decries “inane,” noncompetitive districts produced by GOP gerrymandering in NC

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 13:17
In case you missed it, one of the best editorials of the weekend appeared in Sunday’s Wilmington Star News. It is entitled “Twists and turns of gerrymandering.” After explaining how conservative leaders in the General Assembly went beyond the usual excesses of partisan map making to unlawfully pack African-American voters into two congressional districts, the ...

Scalia’s death: Another step in the demise of the death penalty?

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 10:11
With executions long on hold here in North Carolina, it’s easy to forget that we still have a long way to go in joining the most of the rest of the civilized world in abandoning the death penalty. What’s more, as this recent post by Kristin Collins on the blog of the NC Coalition for ...

Got something to say about those crazy, jigsaw-shaped congressional districts? Monday is your chance

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 06:27
Legislative leaders this week take steps toward a possible special session to redraw its Congressional redistricting maps and comply with a federal court ruling, if the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene and stay the lower court ruling. Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have appointed members to the Joint Select Committee ...

What Scalia’s death means for the current SCOTUS term

Sun, 02/14/2016 - 06:57
These things became abundantly clear within hours of the death of U.S. Supreme Justice Antonin Scalia. President Obama intends to meet his constitutional obligation of filling the vacancy on the court as soon as possible, by naming his choice and sending that candidate to the U.S. Senate for approval. Republicans in the Senate intend to do ...

North Carolina reaction to the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Sat, 02/13/2016 - 20:05
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis: Today, our nation lost Antonin Scalia, a great American and devoted public servant who fiercely defended the Constitution during his three decades on the Supreme Court. Regardless of one’s political or judicial views, there is no doubt that Justice Scalia will be remembered as one of the most thoughtful and consequential ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 14:32
  1. Out-of-state leadership of North Carolina charters raises red flags The N.C. State Board of Education may be set to approve a policy limiting out-of-state leadership in North Carolina charter school boards as soon as next month, but some, including state board Chairman Bill Cobey, say the new provision might not go far enough. ...

State Supreme Court denies request for rehearing of redistricting decision

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 13:08
The state Supreme Court has denied the request by challengers of the 2011 voting maps for a rehearing of the Court’s December opinion upholding, for a second time, those maps as constitutional. The ruling puts the state court challenge back on a U.S. Supreme Court trajectory — with a petition for review likely to be ...

Three weeks ahead of early voting, supporters spotlight need for $2 billion bond package (video)

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:38
Governor Pat McCrory told a gathering in Winston-Salem Thursday that North Carolina has the  best university system in the country, but “facilities in our universities that are embarrassing.” The Governor is working to drum-up support for the the $2 billion Connect NC bond package that will be on the ballot in March. The bulk of ...

Why thousands will come to Raleigh tomorrow for the HK on J Moral March

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 09:30
As was explained here earlier this week, there are lots of excellent reasons to bundle up and head to downtown Raleigh tomorrow morning. In today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, however, Charles van der Horst, a retired Professor of Medicine at UNC, highlights what may well be the single most important reason: to save ...

Fennebresque gun incident: Another example of why stronger laws are needed

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:30
Another prominent North Carolinian  was arrested for carrying a gun where federal law prohibits them yesterday. Last year, an NC State trustee was arrested for trying to carry a concealed weapon into the U.S. Capitol. Yesterday, it was the former head of the UNC Board of Governors. As the Charlotte Observer reported: “Charlotte lawyer John ...

Zika virus worries? NC’s mosquito program eliminated thanks to budget cuts

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 16:34
Mark Binker at WRAL.com has a story this afternoon that offers a classic example of what happens when the policies enacted (and driven) by tax cut zealots cause public structures to be dismantled: “As Zika virus arrives in US, NC left without mosquito monitoring program Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina lacks the ability to track ...

New report skewers achievement school districts nationwide

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:46
North Carolina lawmakers may be mulling a controversial proposal for so-called achievement school districts—a model that could wrest governance powers from local school boards in struggling districts and hand them over to charter operators—but the criticisms of the model nationwide continue to pile up. This month, the national Center for Popular Democracy issued a scathing report ...

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