Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates express concerns over redistricting process at the General Assembly

As lawmakers began drawing voting district maps last week, voting rights advocates and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on the fairness and adequacy of the process. According to the advocates, the process is flawed and fails to deliver on the promise of transparency or to adequately consider community input.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

New revelations shed more light on efforts to question, undermine 2020 election results

U.S. attorney in Georgia quit under pressure from Trump to reject election results, new report confirms Former President Donald Trump forced a top federal prosecutor in Atlanta to step down because he wouldn’t help Trump overturn his loss of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, a U.S. Senate report released Thursday said.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

GOP pols Robinson, Walker, Cawthorn align themselves with movement seeking to end to separation of church and state

Lt. Governor offers to pay for departure of those who deny the U.S. is a “Christian nation” The American Renewal Project – and its state arm, the North Carolina Renewal Project – provides a pipeline for conservative politicians ...
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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

The North Carolina redistricting charade

It’s hard to pinpoint the most maddening thing about the rushed, convoluted and opaque redistricting process that North Carolina Republican legislative leaders have been running in recent weeks, but there are several leading contenders. First has been the disregard for the pandemic. When so much of modern life has moved online due to COVID-19, it’s ridiculous that the public was forced to attend crowded in-person hearings...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: a closer look at the election turnout rates of white and Black voters

As U.S. Senate Democrats united behind a bill dubbed the "Freedom to Vote Act" that would expand voter registration, promote nonpartisan redistricting and designate Election Day a federal holiday, experts at the Brennan Center for Justice have identified gaps in voter turnout that warrant stronger protection for non-white voters.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at mass incarceration in NC, and the implications for redistricting

Last week, the Prison Policy Initiative published a report – "States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2021" – which compared the incarceration rate of each state in the U.S. to other countries' rates. The research think tank used U.S. and United Nations crime and incarceration data (including figures from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program) to illustrate a stark contrast between America and other countries.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates seek to make ‘communities of interest’ an important consideration in NC redistricting

For the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering the characteristics of various communities as it redraws voting districts based on the latest census numbers. In so doing, lawmakers will examine geographic areas in which individuals have a commonality of shared interests that could affect legislation and should therefore be grouped together.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW special report: Demystifying the redistricting process

As lawmakers move forward with drawing new maps, experts explain the tricks of the trade, how we can do better, and why gerrymandering is so hard to eradicate State lawmakers voted to approve the new criteria for redrawing congressional, state House and Senate districts last week. Operating under the new criteria, legislators still have a lot of leeway, and it remains to be seen how the process plays out./p> ...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Republican legislators reject Democrats’ proposal to include racial data in redistricting

State lawmakers in the House and Senate have unveiled the rules for drawing new voting maps, as a new round of redistricting begins. As Policy Watch previously reported, the U.S. Census Bureau released new population and racial data on Thursday. Shifts in population require new district maps for local and state elections that will be held in 2022.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

In Philadelphia speech, President calls for concerted effort to fight assaults on voting rights

Biden refutes continuing GOP conspiracy claims: "The big lie is just that, a big lie" PHILADELPHIA — Returning to the state that handed him the White House, President Joe Biden made a passionate plea Tuesday for Americans to rise up and protect their voting rights from a series of restrictive measures pushed by Republicans in Washington and in state capitols nationwide.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW investigates: Lax reporting laws allow campaigns to hide how millions are spent

Election watchdogs call on regulators to better track and police campaign consultant expenditures In the final two months of the 2020 General Election, the campaign of Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina, shelled out $25 million to the consulting firm Screen Strategies Media, apparently for advertising.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Settled into new homes, refugees in U.S. say they are working for a better life for all

Violence, persecution and wars amid a global pandemic added to the growing number of displaced persons around the world last year. The United Nations reports that 11.2 million people were displaced from their homelands in 2020, bringing the total number of displaced persons in the world to 82.4 million. Of those forced to flee their homes, 1.4 million had to leave their country.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Bill seeks to increase penalties for “rioters,” but advocates worry about threat posed to free speech

Biracial.’ ‘Artist.’ ‘Supporter of social justice.’ Nic Cassette could think of many labels describing his identity. ‘Rioter,’ however, was never one of them. An Alamance County prosecutor, however, saw it differently. Cassette was among a group of demonstrators who were charged under the state's rioting statute after a succession of demonstrations in Graham. 

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Liz Cheney ousted from U.S. House GOP leadership for rejecting Trump’s “big lie”

NC's Foxx and Cawthorn help lead the charge in punishing congresswoman for speaking truths about the former president WASHINGTON—House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election.

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Inside the GOP gerrymander for 2022

WASHINGTON – Republicans are rejoicing and Democrats are dismayed that population losses in the Rust Belt and gains in the Sun Belt, recorded by the 2020 census, will add Congressional seats in key Republican states and may tilt the 2022 elections. But don’t bet just yet on a GOP slam dunk. There’s more to this game than immediately meets the eye.

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers have the tools to safeguard voting rights and fair elections; all they need is the will

Congress and the G.A. can build on the the success of the 2020 election by passing three important bills Voting is the right by which all our other rights are protected, to paraphrase Thomas Paine. Equal access to the ballot box is the bedrock foundation of our democracy and vital to the health of our nation.

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