Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform.The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin of Illinois, urges the Senate to include in its version a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people—something the Senate parliamentarian already has rejected twice in the bill, known as the Build Back Better Act.

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Court challenge to voter ID amendment demands unbiased “referees”

Imagine that you are a basketball player. You show up at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Dean Dome or PNC Arena and your opponent’s three-point line is about six feet closer to the hoop than yours is. You probably think, “OK that’s weird,” but then you go looking for the referee to tell them about the rigged lines. You find the referee sitting in your opponent’s locker room, smiling and laughing with one of the players.

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U.S. House Democrats seek to expose, call out right-wing extremism

Lawmakers introduce censure of Arizona congressman over violent video, ask why federal judges hired law clerk alleged to have sent racist text Nearly 30 Democratic U.S. House members plan to introduce a resolution censuring their Arizona Republican colleague Rep. Paul Gosar for social media posts that depicted him killing New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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GOP legislative maps all but assure a less racially diverse General Assembly

Several Democratic lawmakers of color now reside in districts that strongly favor Republicans   More than a half dozen of North Carolina’s Black legislators are in danger of losing their seats, as Republican legislators decided not to draw election districts to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act as legislatures had in the past. 

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Members of the public say their testimony was distorted in Senate redistricting process

Maurice Holland Jr. laughed ruefully when he heard that a Republican Senate redistricting leader used Holland’s comments to justify a newly drawn congressional district.   The district, which includes part of the Sandhills, that Republicans drew is the opposite of what Holland wanted.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Progressive Voices Top Story

Berger-Barringer controversy makes clear that NC should make its judicial ethics rules stronger, not weaker

The justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court are currently debating how they should handle conflicts of interest. Indeed, two Republican justices are now the target of motions to “disqualify” based on alleged conflicts in a case challenging a pair of constitutional amendments adopted and placed on the statewide ballot by the legislature in 2018.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In three-way GOP Senate battle, Walker courts evangelical vote by embracing Robinson

In wake of Lt. Guv's anti-LGBTQ remarks, former rep describes effort to promote conservative Christian agenda as a "street brawl" Looking to distinguish himself in a tough GOP Senate primary field, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is criticizing former Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd for not defending Lt. Gov Mark Robinson’s recent characterization of LGBTQ people as “filth.”

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“Gerrymandering at its worst”: Public commenters pan proposed electoral maps

Voters ask redistricting mapmakers to respect community ties  One of the proposed maps for new congressional districts lumps parts of Wake County with North Topsail Beach, 135 miles away, in Onslow County. That same map creates a district by taking slivers of Triad counties in the Piedmont – the western third of Guilford and the southern quarter of Forsyth – and extends it west, with a little, crooked finger...

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State redistricting stumbles across the nation amid familiar partisan infighting

WASHINGTON—This year’s round of redistricting is already crumbling into partisanship and court challenges in multiple states, even as voters pay more attention than ever to new political maps that will shape elections for a decade. Hopes were high initially. Advocates in several states pushed measures over the last few years that they hoped would lessen some of the acrimony in the struggle for political power every 10 years.

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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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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 ...
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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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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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