Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Could this really be a watershed moment?

Black North Carolinians express hopes and fears about the struggle against racism in America “You are going to get your ass killed.” Those are the words Carl Kenney Sr. used when his son Durham minister and author Carl Kenney Jr., joined students at the University of Missouri to protest alleged racism at the state’s flagship school.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Immigrants, advocates applaud Supreme Court ruling that rejects Trump’s efforts to end DACA

Moises Serrano and his family have spent three decades in legal limbo over their immigration status, so he was hesitant to celebrate Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration over its decision to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of undocumented people from deportation who were brought to the country as children.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

With state elections bill sleight of hand, GOP seeks to revive enjoined voter ID law

Republicans add language in effort to circumvent two court injunctions; final vote today What started as a bipartisan effort to address the challenge of administering an election during the COVID-19 pandemic has devolved into a battle over another Republican attempt to require North Carolinians to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in November.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Inside the state Supreme Court’s landmark Racial Justice Act ruling

When Andrew Darrin Ramseur, a Black man, walked into court in Iredell County on May 10, 2010 to face charges related to the murder of two white victims, there was a noticeable difference about his side of the room: the first four rows behind the defense table were cordoned off by yellow crime scene tape.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Black North Carolina justice system leaders speak in support of protesters’ calls for change

Powerful Black leaders across North Carolina in charge of administering justice are speaking out to support protesters calling for change in the aftermath of the homicide of George Floyd. Floyd’s story is all too familiar to Black Americans – he was killed on camera as a result of police brutality, and now his name has become another hashtag, another call to white people to recognize their privilege and the systemic racism that enables ongoing violence and injustice.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Legislators seek to prevent access to emails, other documents in voter ID lawsuit

North Carolina lawmakers say that they cannot be required to turn over communications and documents related to their most recent passage of a voter ID law because of an absolute legislative privilege. Six voters are challenging the law, enshrined in Senate Bill 824, which the legislature passed in December 2018 after voters approved a constitutional amendment on the subject..

Six voters are challenging the law, enshrined in Senate Bill 824, which the legislature passed in December 2018.

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COVID-19 Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

PW special report: What NC must do to conduct a fair and safe election this fall

North Carolina advocates, election officials and lawmakers answer our questions about holding an election in the era of COVID-19 It’s not easy to forget the photos of masked Wisconsin voters standing in large lines waiting to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic. Residents there risked their health and lives to make their voices heard; they chose democracy in the face of uncertainty, and now, the rest of the nation has a chance to learn from them.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Burr wants swift approval of Trump’s intelligence pick despite Dems’ warnings

WASHINGTON — Last summer, Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe withdrew himself from consideration to be the national intelligence director, just days after President Donald Trump nominated him for the job.  Key Senate Republicans appeared reluctant to fully embrace the nominee — who has a reputation as a conservative firebrand in the U.S. House — and Ratcliffe faced accusations that he embellished his resume from his time as a federal prosecutor. Trump revived the nomination again in February, calling Ratcliffe “an outstanding man of great talent!” on Twitter. 

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Now is the time to act to protect the integrity of the November election

When members of the N.C. General Assembly reconvene tomorrow – presumably wearing masks and taking all the other recommended precautions to stay safe and help foil the spread of COVID-19 – they’ll confront an unprecedented tangle of complex and crucial issues. Normally – yes, what we wouldn’t give for some normality – legislators’ main chore this spring would be truing up the proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Even before North Carolina and the rest of Planet Earth got whacked with a viral pandemic, however, that budget exercise was going to be messy. There was no proposed budget to true up because of a legislative standoff with Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Biden surges to victory in NC; Cunningham to face Tillis in Senate race

Governor's race to feature Cooper v. Forest; Runoffs on tap for R's and D's in a handful of congressional and council of state contests; Superintendent Mark Johnson defeated in run for Lt. Gov. Former Vice President Joe Biden was the clear choice of North Carolina Democrats in yesterday's Super Tuesday presidential primary election. The former vice-president and U.S. senator led Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by a margin XX to XX with XX percent of the state’s precincts reporting.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Super Tuesday off to a smooth start across North Carolina

Super Tuesday is finally here, and at least for now, there haven’t been any major hitches in North Carolina. Turnout across the state appeared to start off slow but steady, but by early afternoon several locations were reporting longer lines and wait times of up to an hour, according to voting rights advocates speaking at an "Election Protection" news teleconference.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As 2020 election approaches, “fake news” goes viral in North Carolina

"Satirical" Facebook site seeks to promote Trump's re-election When Jonathan Jones saw a Facebook post about a bodybuilder befriending a man with Down syndrome, it caught his attention because it purportedly happened at the north Durham gym he frequents. “It said it came from ‘North Carolina Breaking News,'" Jones said. “And I’d never heard of that.”

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Trump has appointed judges at a breakneck speed. More are coming.

WASHINGTON — The GOP-controlled U.S. Senate heads into 2020 with few major legislative victories but a significant one on the judicial front: a dramatic reshaping of the federal bench. Over the past three years, the Senate has confirmed 185 of President Trump’s judicial nominees, more than any of the last five presidents at the same time in their presidencies. That tally includes a raft of nominees approved just before lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the holiday recess. 

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

New report: Using citizenship data in redistricting will whitewash representation

Common Cause released a report today that shows drawing electoral boundaries using only data for citizens over the age of 18 relies on fundamentally faulty data and is part of a partisan plot to shift representation away from communities of color to areas where white populations live.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

It’s up to the court now: A redistricting update after the final round of filings

It’s a strikingly familiar tale in North Carolina: voters are waiting with bated breath for a court to either approve legislatively-drawn remedial House and Senate maps or to assign the job to a neutral third-party to correct unconstitutional ...
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