Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


CAN JUSTICE IN NC STILL BE INDEPENDENT? IT MUST! Will North Carolina’s newly constituted State Supreme Court back some acts by the General Assembly just because legislative leaders say so? To hear state House Speaker Tim Moore and state Senate leader Phil Berger’s reaction to the election of two new justices – giving the state’s high court five Republicans and two Democrats – that's what will be the new law of the land. But the job of the state’s courts – particularly the Supreme Court -- is not to do the bidding of the General Assembly’s leadership. It is, among other things, to make sure the General Assembly is doing the bidding of the people of North Carolina as set out in the Constitution. It is the court’s job to review what the legislature or the executive branch of government does on behalf of the people of the state and determine if those actions are in accord with the state Constitution. When these other branches of government fall short, it is the job of the courts to say so and order appropriate remedies. In the not-too-distant future these new justices and other judges on the state’s court of appeals will have their integrity and independence put to the test. How will they make sure the legislative and executive branches of state government – their co-equals – follow the law? They will be watched. Closely. And so will the General Assembly. We have learned the hard way that BergerMoore doesn't care about proper process and precedent, and "integrity" is simply not in their lexicon anymore, if it ever was. It may be that all we have left to defend us is the court of public opinion, and the resurgence of Moral Mondays.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


VOTER ENTHUSIASM IN KEY GROUPS CRITICAL TO ELECTION OUTCOME: “Young voters (in North Carolina) are not as much in the numbers as they could be. There’s potential for growth there,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In those young voters is “potential for an upset,” he said. Younger voters, those with the most at stake in this election when it comes to issues of personal health like abortion, jobs and the economy and education, have not appeared to be as energized to vote as other groups, according to the Marist College poll of North Carolina that came out last week. For candidates in close elections -- like Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd who are running for the U.S. Senate -- that kind of engagement matters. Voters 44 and younger favor Beasley by a 7-point spread. But if they don’t become more motivated to head to the polls, that margin may not mean as much. “When you look at younger voters, Democrats carry Gen-Z and Millennials by 12 points – it’s their best group,” Miringoff said. “But it’s also a group that, although 40% of the adult population, it’s 38% of the registered voters and it falls off to 31% among those who are definitely going to vote.” As the close campaigns around North Carolina reach a conclusion, motivating voters – particularly young voters – may make the margin. I actually voted on a college campus this year (Elon University), and there were no young people in sight at the polling place when I went. No young voters, no young poll workers, no young poll greeters. I hope that was not a sign, but I fear it is.

Please vote for Lucy Inman for NC Supreme Court

Her opponent Richard Dietz doesn't believe in gun control:

It is not often that one has the opportunity to hear a talk by someone who has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. Through the email newsletter of a local gun store and range, Pro Shots, I was fortunate to learn of such an opportunity here in my home town on May 1st. Richard Dietz, a local attorney, spoke at the monthly meeting of the Forsyth County Republican Party about his experience arguing on behalf of the petitioner in Abramski v. United States (No. 12-1493) in January 2014.

Bolding mine, because yes, that is Ted Budd's gun store/range. This blog was written two years before Budd was groomed by Club For Growth and squeezed through the 2016 Republican Primary for Congress with 20% of the vote. Dietz was appointed to the (NC) Court of Appeals later that year (2014) by Pat McCrory, and he's been riding that seat ever since. Here's more on the Abramski case:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BILLIONAIRES' DARK MONEY SILENCES VOTERS' VOICES: Through the first year-and-a-half of the current election cycle, 27 billionaires provided nearly half the money — $89.4 million of a total of $188.3 million — raised by the Senate Leadership Fund and the Congressional Leadership Fund – the two main super PACs trying to elect Republicans to Congress. Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts from every donor. Club for Growth Action invested two and a half times more in Budd’s campaign than his own campaign did. For the ultra-wealthy, spending to elect candidates who will protect their tax status and gut regulations is a good investment: millions in donations can mean billions in tax savings and less public oversight of their actions. A MarketWatch analysis of campaign finance records through Oct. 23 shows massive outside spending on behalf of Republicans running in competitive Senate races has more than made up for Budd’s lack campaign fund raising. Budd’s raised $18.2 million less than his Democratic opponent former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cherie Beasley as of the end of September. But he has gained from $55.9 million in outside spending either backing him or attacking Beasley. There has been about $17.1 million in outside spending on behalf of Beasley or opposing Budd. Overall, Budd’s has a $20.5 million financial lead. Curbing the undue, destructive influence of billionaires on elections requires restoring effective limits on campaign spending, such as by outlawing super PACs and ending anonymity for big donors to so-called “dark money” campaign groups. Also, we are in the midst of a vicious cycle of inflation, driven by massive corporate profit-taking. Of course they can afford to spend tens of millions, they've been picking our pockets since the Pandemic started. And now they're using our own money against us. Unfortunately, the average American hasn't made that connection.


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