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Articles

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Partisan gerrymandering will be North Carolina’s next big court battle

Breaking the Republicans’ veto-proof majority was the Democrats’ and voting rights activists’ short game. Their long game? Ending partisan gerrymandering for good in North Carolina. Common Cause, the North Carolina Democratic Party and a group of individual voters filed a lawsuit earlier this week in Wake County Superior Court challenging the...

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Environment Top Story

Republican legislators pledge to probe Cooper Atlantic Coast Pipeline deal

The Joint Subcommittee on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline voted Wednesday to launch an investigation into Gov. Roy Cooper's office, albeit one without an investigator -- and without any notion of how much the inquiry would cost. The investigation, spearheaded by Republican Senators...

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Folwell, State Health Plan swim against rising tide with denial of insurance coverage to transgender individuals

North Carolina is not the only state whose transgender state employees and dependents are without insurance coverage under their state’s health plan. But the state’s blanket exclusion of treatments for gender dysphoria—from counseling and hormone treatment to gender confirmation surgery—puts it firmly in the minority.

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Original Commentary Top Story

With the supermajority doomed, North Carolina should reconsider Medicaid expansion

Despite the manufactured panic of the migrant caravan, despite the midterm’s so-called “referendum on Trump,” despite the nation’s nonsensical gun laws, despite an election that often seemed a direct rebuke of misogynist GOP leaders and policies, the pollsters told us the 2018 election would begin and end with healthcare.

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Articles Must Reads Top Story

Report: General Assembly mandates are undermining judicial independence

A new report from Prof. Gene Nichol and Heather Hunt at the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund is shining a light on an important area in which the General Assembly has been repeatedly undermining the independence of the judiciary: the micromanagement of court fines and fees. The report is entitled “Forcing Judges to Criminalize Poverty: Eroding Judicial Independence in North Carolina” and in it, authors Gene Nichol and Heather Hunt build on their past research efforts regarding the burdensome nature of court fines and fees for poor people.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The next big battle in North Carolina politics is just days away

The 2018 election may finally be in the rear view mirror, but for better or worse, the next battle over the state’s future will commence very soon – on Tuesday, November 27. That’s the day that Republican legislative leaders will convene the latest of their endless stream of “special” legislative sessions.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The 2018 election: A milestone on the path to change

The first thing Gov. Roy Cooper did after he reported for work on Wednesday, Nov. 7, was to order up a generous new supply of red ink for his veto stamp. How do we know that? We don’t. Call it a fanciful guess. But here’s how the remarkable election of Nov. 6 – remarkable for reasons both good and not so good – has strengthened the governor’s hand in his ongoing disputes with a Republican-led General Assembly: For the first time since taking office almost two years ago, Cooper will have a good chance of seeing any vetoes he chooses to issue sustained by his fellow Democrats.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at transgender discrimination laws and where NC fits in

As LGBTQ state employees and dependents struggle to restore State Health Plan coverage for transgender people, they are hardly alone. The Movement Advancement Project uses publicly available Census data, comprehensive studies, the latest surveys and original reporting to map policies impacting LGBTQ people all over the country. A look at the group's healthcare laws and policies map reveals just how many transgender people face discriminatory laws and policies across the country.

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Photo of Enviva's wood pellet plant under construction in Hamlet
Environment Top Story

Half-truths and sometimes no truth at all: Public debates pollution limits at Enviva’s wood pellet plant in Hamlet

About a quarter-mile off NC 177 in Richmond County, just north of Hamlet, skeletons of buildings gouge the horizon, as bulldozers coerce the dirt into mounds and flats. This is the site of Enviva’s new wood pellet production plant, ...
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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Midterm election proves to be Independence Day for NC courts

The North Carolina courts have a lot to celebrate after Tuesday night – voter turnout in statewide judicial races was higher than the past three midterm elections, voters elected the first openly LGBTQ candidate in any statewide political race and there was a rebuke on lawmakers’ efforts to politicize the judicial branch.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Black sheriffs make history in sweep of seven largest NC counties

While Congressional and General Assembly races got most of the election headlines this week, history was quietly being made in a series of law enforcement races. On Tuesday the state's seven largest counties - Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake - all elected Black men sheriff.

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Original Commentary Top Story

A requiem for the GOP supermajority, and other post-election thoughts

Ever been to a funeral where no one had anything nice to say about the dearly departed? That’s the feeling today, with North Carolina now weeks away from burying the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly. North Carolina voters handed down a good many split decisions in these elections, which like it or not, were always going to be skewed to the right by GOP gerrymandering.

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Defending Democracy Setting the Record Straight Top Story

Now what? Five initial election takeaways for North Carolinians

The 2018 election is finally and mercifully over and, as was noted in this space yesterday, now is no time for progressives to rest on their laurels. Having taken some promising initial steps in the struggle to overcome Trumpism and build a better, fairer, freer and more sustainable nation and planet, now is the time...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Today is just one small step in the effort to rescue our country

You’ve seen the headlines and no doubt received hundreds (thousands?) of action alerts from well-meaning groups and individuals informing you that the 2018 election is the most important in recent American history.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Voter ID: A poll tax on Aunt Bee

“How hard can it be to get a photo ID?” My neighbor asked this sincere question at a community picnic. Voters are being asked this fall to decide for or against: “Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.”

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