• John Locke Update

    Leandro Lunacy: An Appointed Judge Declares War on the Elected Members of the Legislature

    posted October 21, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Judge David Lee recently and unexpectedly declared that the General Assembly is an unnamed defendant in the long-running Leandro case. The General Assembly has never been a party to the Leandro lawsuit, and Judge Lee has never identified them as such during his five years of oversight of the case. Despite calling for a “cooperative effort” with the legislature in April, Judge Lee plans to penalize the General Assembly for failing to approve a budget that does not include all components of the court-approved remedial plan.
  • John Locke Update

    A New Law Means Higher Electricity Costs Are Coming, But Does It Stop Even Worse Rate Hikes?

    posted October 20, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Signed by Gov. Cooper, HB 951 puts his policy goal of 70% reduction of CO2 emissions into law, allows multiyear rate plans for utilities, and lets small solar facilities amend and extend their contracts with utilities. Elements of the new law portend large increases in electricity costs for consumers in North Carolina, but its intent was to "ensure reliable energy generation with fiscal responsibility" and prevent even worse rate hikes. Only through a very strict adherence to the law as written can that goal be achieved.
  • John Locke Update

    Partisan Activists Choose Posturing for Future Litigation Over Voter Participation

    posted October 15, 2021 by Jim Stirling
    All On The Line, a program of Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is seeking to use public hearings as a way to assist in future litigation of district maps. The General Assembly has several avenues for public comment on any bill, including district maps. Further delaying elections, which have already been pushed back due to delays in the U.S. Census data, would either force municipalities to hold two elections or delay already overdue municipal elections in North Carolina’s major cities.
  • John Locke Update

    NC Supreme Court at a Crossroads, Continued

    posted October 13, 2021 by Jon Guze
    A recent order by the North Carolina Supreme Court confirms that its four Democratic members may attempt to disqualify two of the court’s three Republican justices from a case seeking to nullify constitutional amendments voters approved in 2018. In addition to being unjustified and unprecedented, such a blatant act of partisan gamesmanship would seriously harm the court as an institution and permanently damage the reputations and electoral prospects of the justices involved. If successful, it would also effectively disenfranchise the millions of North Carolina voters who approved the constitutional amendments and elected the disqualified justices.
  • John Locke Update

    Ten Reasons Why Lawmakers Should Reject the Leandro Plan and Fund Students, Not Systems

    posted October 12, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Gov. Cooper likely would sign a state budget that includes the first two years of a multi-billion-dollar plan developed by a California-based consulting firm without input from legislators. Lawmakers should reject Cooper’s offer because the court-ordered plan is an affront to the constitutional authority of the General Assembly to direct taxpayer dollars. Rather than concede to a consulting firm’s plan favored by an unelected judge, lawmakers should continue to empower parents by expanding public and private school choice options.
  • John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: If You Ain’t Packing Asheville, You’re Cracking Asheville

    posted October 11, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    One 2019 lawsuit successfully changed Asheville being packed into one district, while another 2019 lawsuit successfully challenged Asheville being split across districts. Buncombe County will have three North Carolina House districts, and either packing Asheville into one district or spreading it across three could subject the map to a lawsuit. A compromise would be to have most of Asheville split between two House districts while having the third district represent rural parts of Buncombe County.
  • John Locke Update

    The Government Comes for Parents

    posted October 8, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Rising tensions between school officials and parents are real, but they are not cause for concern. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed to use U.S. Department of Justice resources to address National School Boards Association concerns about purported threats of violence and acts of intimidation against school board members. Cooper and state education officials should send a joint letter to the Department of Justice declining federal assistance unless confronted with irrepressible violence at school board meetings.
  • John Locke Update

    Widespread Natural Immunity Underscores Why Vaccine Mandates Must End, Now

    posted October 7, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    While natural immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity, proving natural immunity is difficult because fewer than one-fourth of infections are documented and antibodies testing is hit-or-miss. Vaccine mandates would affect more people with natural immunity (the stronger immunity) than those without any immunity, which would not justify the ostensible public-health case for such mandates. If the vaccines are effective as we know them to be, there's no need to deprive other people of their livelihoods for not being vaccinated, especially given the better-than-even odds that their immunity is better.
  • John Locke Update

    DHHS Data Show Strength of Natural Immunity in North Carolina

    posted October 6, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    DHHS data show that North Carolinians with natural immunity are much less likely to contract Covid than even vaccinated individuals. Data show the reinfection rate (a measure of the strength of natural immunity) is lower than the post-vaccination infection rate (strength of vaccination). The reinfection rate was likely less (possibly much less) than 0.8% while the post-vaccination infection rate was at least 1.3% (and possibly much greater).
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper Must Decide If the Leandro Plan Is a State Budget Deal-Breaker

    posted October 4, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    The $1.9 billion Leandro school funding plan will be the focus of budget negotiations between Gov. Cooper and lawmakers. Cooper wants a state budget that funds every dollar of the court-ordered plan, and budget conferees from the House and Senate do not. If the legislature does not pass a budget that includes the entire Leandro plan by October 18, Judge David Lee promised to use the court’s “remedial powers to secure such funding.”

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