Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

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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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

NC's G.K. Butterfield and Allison Riggs featured prominently in U.S. House hearing WASHINGTON—A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Special report: The GOP’s national effort to make voting more difficult

As strategy shifts from election lawsuits to laws, voting rights advocates warn of Tennessee As Republican-led legislatures continue a systematic push to pass laws they say are aimed at ratcheting up election security, voting rights advocates in Tennessee worry the entire nation could soon look a lot like the Volunteer State where voter turnout and voter registration figures are among the lowest in the country.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Special report: Trump acquitted as Senate falls 10 votes short; Burr a surprising “aye”

Tillis joins 42 Republicans in voting to acquit as seven others join 48 Democrats and two independents in adjudging Trump guilty WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted on Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding his second impeachment trial with the same verdict as his first impeachment.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at some surprising facts about 2020 voter turnout

Voter turnout was higher in last year's general election among most demographic groups, but it barely changed from 2016 for young Black voters. Indeed, data from the NC State Board of Elections paint a sobering picture of the low turnout rate among young Black voters aged 18-40.

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

After a pandemic pause, jury trials are back. The assurance of a “jury of peers,” however, may be missing.

Plus: A guide for what to expect from a jury summons now After state Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby let a statewide pause to most in-person court proceedings expire, some jurisdictions are pressing ahead with jury trials.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Donald Trump’s misdeeds were much more than “distractions”

Why several things must happen before our nation can "move on" As you've probably already noticed, there's a problematic narrative being spun by a number of conservatives in the aftermath of the Trump presidency and it goes like this: Trump's lack of success in the White House wasn't so much about any fundamental flaw in his agenda or its basic purpose; rather, it was the result of him allowing unnecessary "distractions" and personal foibles to get in the way.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

President Biden urges a divided nation to ‘end this uncivil war’ in inaugural address

WASHINGTON — Calling on Americans to bridge the widening divisions in the country, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, completing the peaceful transition of presidential power on the same stage where a violent mob just two weeks ago sought to prevent him from taking office.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five important takeaways from last week’s assault on democracy

It’s been less than a week since a mob of traitorous criminals, directly incited by the President of the United States, carried out one of the most despicable acts in American history. Happily, in the hours and days that have followed, there have been some encouraging signs that finally, at long last, several powerful conservative voices who have long tolerated and abetted Trumpism have had enough.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

U.S. Capitol attack is another sign of the rise of domestic terrorism, a Duke expert says

After he leaves office, Trump will likely still have a platform for disinformation

Pro-Trump supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday was more evidence of a growing domestic terrorist movement in the country that the next administration needs to address, a Duke University expert on national security and terrorism said. 

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