BlueNC's blog

Wednesday News: Um, state's rights?


NC'S REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS PONDER U.S. EXTREME SUPREME COURT: North Carolina lawmakers will start redrawing new political maps quickly, possibly even this week. But at the same time, they’re contemplating appealing their loss in a nationally watched gerrymandering at the state Supreme Court to the only court that could overturn the ruling — the U.S. Supreme Court. The court found that the maps were unconstitutional because of the way the lines minimized the influence of Democratic voters, notably by guaranteeing Republicans would likely still win large majorities even if most voters voted for Democrats. But as of Monday afternoon there was still no detailed opinion with guidance on how better maps should be drawn. It complicates matters that the court hasn’t given exact details on their ruling to help determine what a fair map is, Moore said, but he and other legislative leaders are hoping for those details soon. Maybe maps that aren't 1000:1 outliers?

Monday News: Twenty one thousand, ninety seven


ALMOST 2.5 MILLION NORTH CAROLINIANS HAVE CAUGHT COVID-19: At least 2,470,242 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 21,097 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, Feb. 4, reported 12,385 new COVID-19 cases, down from 14,966 the day before. At least 4,490 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Feb. 4, including 751 adults being treated in intensive care units. The total patient count was down from 4,556 the previous day, according to state health officials. Roughly 75% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 71% are fully vaccinated. 1/4 of the adult population still unvaccinated. Mind-boggling.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


FEDERAL RESCUE FUNDS PUMPED STATE ECONOMY AND NC REVENUES: Not only did these federal programs keep the state’s economy from tanking – they positioned it for a rapid recovery and provided a huge boost in state tax revenues. Those additional funds, along with the massive aid from Washington, are what has enabled North Carolina’s legislators to trot around the state with THEIR oversized checks, acting like prize-show hosts and posing with oversized checks at local government and community-agency gatherings. State legislators didn’t get any help from our senators, Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, nor from representatives Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Greg Murphy and David Rouser – who all voted against it. So, it might be more honest as North Carolina legislators trot around the state with their giant checks – for them to give credit where it is really due – to those in Washington who voted for and REALLY sent the billions to North Carolina that sparked the state’s economic revival and pumped more billions back into the state’s treasury. That's the Hypocrisy Party for you: always ready to take credit for things they opposed, and blame Democrats for problems they themselves created.

Saturday News: James is right, elections should be fair


CHIEF JUSTICE NEWBY SAYS NC CONSTITUTION DOESN'T MENTION FAIR MAPS: Attorneys for plaintiffs in the case were discussing a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to strike down voting maps in that state because the maps were alleged to have violated Pennsylvania’s constitutional requirement of “free and equal” elections. Newby pointed out that the North Carolina Constitution doesn’t say that. “We have ‘free.’ We don't have ‘fair.’ They have ‘free and fair, correct?” Newby asked, apparently misquoting the Pennsylvania constitution. Attorney Allison Riggs, who is representing plaintiff Common Cause in the redistricting case, says that even though the state constitution doesn’t explicitly require fair elections, case law clearly does. “I’ve certainly studied the history,” she said, “and there is not a suggestion anywhere that the failure to put ‘fair’ in the constitution means that there's a presupposition that elections will be run unfairly.” Newby is on weak ground (and he knows it), but I'm confident the majority on the NC Supreme Court won't buy this nonsense.

Friday News: A truly teachable moment


ADAMS, BUTTERFIELD, AND MANNING FILE BILL TO TEACH WOOLWORTH'S SIT-IN: Three members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation paid tribute to the 62nd anniversary of the Greensboro Four sit-in by introducing a resolution Tuesday that called on all states to teach about the demonstration in history classes. On Feb. 1, 1960, David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Jibreel Khazan and Joseph McNeil, four Black students from N.C. A&T State University, visited the F.W. Woolworth department store’s lunch counter to protest against the business for serving lunch only to white customers. Their actions sparked similar sit-ins around North Carolina and a national movement that led more than 700,000 students, clergy members and others to fight for racial equality in the South. U.S. Reps. Kathy Manning, Alma Adams and G.K. Butterfield asked the House colleagues to support their resolution honoring the Greensboro Four for contributing to the civil rights movement and inspiring college students to get involved. It wasn't just courageous, it was uncommonly courageous. Students need to be taught that, so they will know what being an American is all about. Or should be all about.

Thursday News: Articulably predictable


PHIL STRACH SWINGS AND MISSES IN GERRYMANDERING ARGUMENT: Several of the court’s Democratic justices—including Justice Anita Earls, who was a civil rights attorney and brought her own election cases against the legislature’s GOP majority before her election to the bench in 2018—pressed the Republican legal team Wednesday. Earls suggested that the state constitution’s equal protection clause should protect people on the basis of party affiliation much as it protects people on the basis of race, forbidding lawmakers from diluting voting power by dividing people from one party into districts where their candidates can’t win. Justice Robin Hudson asked why it matters how far away from “permissible” maps are, “if they prevent the will of the people from being carried out?” Phil Strach, a lawyer representing GOP lawmakers, said there has to be an articulable standard, something lawmakers can have in hand as they draw districts and something the courts can use to judge those districts. How about this articulation: All materials used to create district maps must be readily available to all lawmakers and the general public, and under no circumstances be lost or destroyed. Put that in your hand and carry it around.

Wednesday News: Would you like some cheese with that whine?


CAWTHORN SUES TO STOP CONGRESSIONAL ELIGIBILITY CHALLENGE: The complaint filed in federal court Monday by the Western North Carolina congressman aims to prevent the state from considering an effort by a group of North Carolina voters challenging his candidacy. The group claims Cawthorn contributed to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, thus disqualifying him from running under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The amendment’s disqualification clause states that no member of Congress shall “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” In his lawsuit, Cawthorn argues the effort to remove him from the ballot violates his First Amendment rights. “Running for political office is quintessential First Amendment activity and afforded great protection,” Cawthorn said in the lawsuit. It's funny, you weren't worried about "great protection" for Senators and Representatives who were hiding under their desks while Brown Shirts were roaming the halls of Congress. You're a spoiled, seditious little prick; a clear and present danger to democracy.

Monday News: Twenty thousand, five hundred ninety five


OVER 5,000 NORTH CAROLINIANS HOSPITALIZED WITH CORONAVIRUS: At least 2,374,866 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 20,595 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 22,631 new COVID-19 cases, down from 28,753 the day before. Another 78 coronavirus-related deaths were added. At least 5,084 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 28, including 816 adults in intensive care units. The total patient count was down from 5,201 the day before, according to state health officials. As of Jan. 26, the latest date with available information, 30.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Remain vigilant, Omicron is very contagious.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


SOME ADULT BEHAVIOR AT BOARD OF ED MEETINGS WOULDN'T BE TOLERATED IN SCHOOLS: Berating, belittling, cursing and threatening. Seeing and hearing it from audiences has become all-too-common at local government meetings – particularly at local school boards. It is the kind of behavior we’re sure -- if any of those speakers saw it on a visit to a public school among students or teachers – would ignite justifiable shock and concern for decorum and safety. At a recent Wake County Board of Education meeting a woman crossed a security barrier to “serve” legal papers on the board members threatening court action unless they reversed school staff and student protective health mask mandates and stopped testing for COVID-19 infections. “Don’t make me come back here,” she threatened. A short while later, another speaker addressed the board’s attorney as “homeboy.” Wake School Board member Jim Martin termed the speaker’s reference as “hate speech.” There’s certainly no abridgement of free speech on display. Does this behavior get anyone to listen? It's no coincidence that threats and intimidation at local government meetings increased in the year following Trump's attempted coup. It's taken way too long for the wheels of justice to punish those traitors, and we're seeing the effects of that delay on Main Street USA.

Saturday News: Come what May


GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES PRIMARY ELECTION DELAY BILL: North Carolina’s primary elections for 2022 will likely remain scheduled for May 17, as Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Friday that would have moved them to June. The reason the date is in question at all is an ongoing court case over the political district maps that Republican lawmakers recently drew, and which Democrats have called unconstitutional gerrymanders. The court already pushed the primary back once, from its usual March date. Cooper said the decision should remain up to the court, not the legislature. “The constitutionality of congressional and legislative districts is now in the hands of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the court should have the opportunity to decide how much time is needed to ensure that our elections are constitutional,” Cooper, a Democrat, said in a press release announcing his veto. The candidate filing schedule has yet to be modified; we will keep you posted.


Subscribe to RSS - BlueNC's blog