• John Locke Update

    NC Supreme Court at a Crossroads?

    posted September 23, 2021 by Jon Guze
    The NAACP has asked the North Carolina Supreme Court to overturn the results of the 2018 election as they pertain to two constitutional amendments approved by the voters. It has been reported that the four Democrats on the court may try to disqualify two Republican justices from the case, a partisan attack that, in addition to being unjustified and unprecedented, would do lasting damage to the court as an institution and permanently damage the reputations and electoral prospects of the justices involved. If successful, such an attack would also have the effect of disenfranchising the North Carolina voters who approved the constitutional amendments and the voters who elected the disqualified justices.
  • John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Cannot Put Caldwell County Back Together Again

    posted September 20, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Caldwell County leaders do not want the county to be split in redistricting, and the county has political clout. Despite that, Caldwell County is certainly going to be split between state Senate districts and may be split between state House districts. Caldwell County’s redistricting predicament demonstrates how the constraints of law and geography limit how legislators can draw districts.
  • John Locke Update

    Four Key Differences Between the House, Senate, and Cooper Budget Plans

    posted September 13, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The North Carolina General Assembly is still finalizing a two-year budget. Budget proposals from the House, Senate, and governor would have varying effects on North Carolina’s fiscal future. Spending restraint, tax cuts, and considerable savings would contribute to more opportunities and bigger paychecks for North Carolina families.
  • John Locke Update

    What “County Clusters” Mean for North Carolina’s Redistricting Process

    posted September 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina’s unique county clustering process is a way of balancing constitutional requirements of keeping counties whole and having equal populations of legislative districts. The county clustering process is simple in principle but can be complex in application. The whole county provision of the North Carolina State Constitution and redistricting criteria adopted by the General Assembly substantially influence how districts can be drawn within county clusters.
  • John Locke Update

    Partisan Interest Group Seeks to Dominate Redistricting Process

    posted September 1, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Democrats and progressive groups successful and "surreptitiously" injected their supporters into the redistricting process to influence the redistricting to favor Democrats in California. All On The Line, an organization affiliated with Eric Holder's National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is seeking to replicate what Democrats did in California here in North Carolina. All On The Line's endgame is to help Holder in redistricting lawsuits against North Carolina.
  • John Locke Update

    Should North Carolina Restore Salary Supplements for Master’s Degrees?

    posted August 26, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    The state House budget would restore salary supplements for public school educators with a master’s degree. Decades of empirical research failed to establish a relationship between master’s degrees and student performance. Possible research-based compromises include restoring master’s pay for teachers who obtain their degrees in their teaching subject or supporting teachers who pursue National Board Certification.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 3: “Mays” and “Shall Nots”

    posted August 25, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Political and racial data are appropriately banned from consideration when legislators draw district maps. Preventing "double bunking" of incumbents can prevent map drawers from following redistricting best practices such as maximizing compactness and respecting political boundaries. "Community of interest" is a nebulous concept and often less helpful to drawing good districts than many believe it to be.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 2: Geography

    posted August 24, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Congressional districts must be equal in population, but legislators have some flexibility regarding population equality when drawing state legislative districts. Districts must be contiguous, and the rules are precise about what counts as contiguous. Districts are required to be compact, but North Carolina's geography often makes that impossible.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 1: Political Boundaries

    posted August 23, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina's constitution and related court cases severely limit how counties can be divided when forming state legislative districts. Precincts sometimes must be split when forming districts but doing so is disruptive for election officials and voters and should be avoided. It is often not practical to follow municipal boundaries when drawing district maps.
  • John Locke Update

    The House Budget Had Good Ideas for Opticians, and the Final Budget Can, Too

    posted August 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    An earlier version of the House budget would have relaxed some of the restrictions North Carolina places on its licensed opticians. Those reforms would have followed some of the John Locke Foundation's principles for reforming occupational licensing, including universal license recognition as well as moving the state in the right direction toward a least-cost-state standard. The reforms were not in the final House budget, but they could be restored in the final conference report.

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