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Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago

The crazy company they keep

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:17
The folks over on Right-wing Avenue — yeah, you know, the supposedly nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organizations that have been acting as a virtual auxiliaries of the campaign of one of the two main U.S. Senate candidates in recent weeks — have a lot of  troubling friends and allies on the fringe. Take, for instance the website ...

State Health Plan updates eligibility to cover same-sex spouses

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 10:30
New from the N.C. State Health Plan website’s “newsroom”: Eligibility Update Regarding Friday’s Ruling on Same Sex Marriages A federal court has overturned North Carolina’s law regarding same gender marriage, recognizing same sex marriages as legal in North Carolina. This ruling now makes same sex spouses of State Health Plan members eligible for State Health ...

Good reads on voting

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 09:45
Three posts this morning about the ongoing war on voters are worth your while, starting with yesterday’s opinion from Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, ordering the state Board of Elections to reconfigure the voting plan out in Watauga County to locate a polling place at Appalachian State.  It’s a short opinion that packs a ...

Sanity prevails in one small corner of the gun debate

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 08:15
As has been reported in several places, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens upheld the common sense ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the State Fair yesterday. According to Judge Stephens: “It would be unwise and imprudent to allow firearms into the State Fair.” Amen to that. Stephens ruling makes eminent sense for a ...

On #DayOneNC, Wake County issues 37 same-sex marriage licenses

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 17:42
On the first full-day of marriage equality in North Carolina, the Wake County Register of Deeds issued 62 marriage licenses in all – 37 to same sex couples, 25 to opposite sex couples. Laura Riddick, who kept the Register of Deeds office open until after 9 p.m. Friday evening issuing marriage licenses after U.S. District ...

Guns, votes and airports: Court action today

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 16:26
Busy, busy day in state courts today. Here’s a quick recap: No guns at the state fair. Wake County Superior Court Donald Stephens upheld the determination of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler banning handguns from the state fair. Court orders opening of Appalachian State polling place.  As reported here, Judge Stephens also ordered state election officials to reconfigure ...

You get a marriage, and you get a marriage, and you get a marriage

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:56
From Rockingham County to New Hanover, from Mecklenburg County to Jackson, Register of Deeds offices across North Carolina are issuing their first same-sex marriage licenses this morning. QNotes reports that as of this morning, all counties are issuing same-sex marriage licenses: As of Monday morning, all 100 counties in North Carolina were issuing licenses to ...

Wisconsin’s taxpayers lost $139 million to private schools subsequently barred from state’s voucher system

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:06
An investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal has found that Wisconsin’s taxpayers have lost $139 million dollars over the past ten years to private schools that have received funds from the state’s voucher program but were ultimately excluded from participating, thanks to their failure to meet standards relating to finances, accreditation, student safety and auditing. ...

Federal Elections Commission member to headline clean elections event at N.C. State

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:13
From the good people at N.C. Voters for Clean Elections: Fed up with our broken political system? Estimates suggest about $4 billion will be spent to sway voters during this year’s election, and about $700 million of that will come from dark money groups that don’t disclose their donors. Does all this spending have you ...

Lt. Gov. Forest emerging as chief spokesperson for anti-equality forces?

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 08:17
North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest appears to be emerging as the most visible and outspoken opponent of LGBT equality in North Carolina. Forest, who has long been closely associated with the religious hard right, issued a formal statement over the weekend in which he castigated the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn ...

On #DayOneNC, state made transition to same-sex marriages “needlessly difficult,” Wake Register of Deeds says

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 08:14
After last night’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriages in North Carolina, one county register of deeds says the McCrory administration unnecessarily delayed releasing gender-neutral marriage license forms. Laura Riddick, a Republican first elected to county office in 1996, released a statement Friday saying that the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services refused her earlier ...

Speaker Tillis’ prediction comes true…seventeen and a half years early

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 19:14
Same-sex couple are marrying tonight in the Old North State. And what a marvelous triumph it is for the forces of love, tolerance and progress over those of hate, discrimination and backwardness. Hallelujah! It’s also a moment in which it’s hard not to take note of the fact that with this momentous change, a prediction ...

Federal Judge Cogburn strikes down same-sex marriage ban in UCC case in Western District

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 17:58
Charlotte Judge Max Cogburn rules NC's same sex marriage ban unconstitutional. #ncga #wral — WRAL Gov't Coverage (@NCCapitol) October 10, 2014 Shortly after Judge Osteen gave plaintiffs until Monday to respond to intervention of legislative leaders in one same-sex marriage case in Greensboro, a federal judge in the Western District struck down a same-sex marriage ...

No marriage equality ruling yet, judge wants to hear from couples’ lawyers, NC Attorney General next week

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:40
U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. has given N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and attorneys representing same-sex couples until 3 p.m. Monday to respond to requests by state legislative leaders to intervene. Couples around the state had been waiting in courthouses to see if Osteen would rule North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. ...

Battle over school vouchers now heading straight to NC Supreme Court

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 15:40
As Policy Watch just reported, today the state Supreme Court decided to bypass the Court of Appeals and take up for its own review the fight over whether or not North Carolina’s new school voucher program should continue. In the case Hart v. North Carolina, Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood found the school voucher program to ...

State Supreme Court takes five controversial cases, bypassing the Court of Appeals

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 15:14
The state Supreme Court today bypassed the Court of Appeals and took five controversial cases for direct review, exercising its rarely-used discretion and raising eyebrows over the timing, with contentious partisan elections soon getting underway. The issues raised in the cases — school vouchers, coal ash, class certification — are hot buttons, and some of the ...

Breakfast speaker will address current legal issues impacting women

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 14:50
The debate over women’s rights has been front and center in the North Carolina U.S. Senate race for months now — often with a lot more heat than light on the subject. I f you’d like to get up to speed on what’s really at issue in Washington — both in our high courts and ...

Second House of Raeford plant closing in Hoke County, 400 to lose jobs

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 12:55
Some difficult news came today to Raeford, where the poultry processing company House of Raeford announced it was shutting down its remaining factory in the town it was named after. The company announced it would close the the Hoke County plant that cooked and processed frozen food in the next 60 days. Approximately 400 people ...

Tillis and Berger meet their high noon deadline in same-sex marriage cases

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:25
House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger have filed their Answer in the same-sex marriage cases as requested late last night by U.S. District Judge William Osteen, — keeping their motion to intervene in the cases alive for now. Their filing is here.

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. ...