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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parents want public schools to focus on academics and implement coronavirus mitigation policies that acknowledge the costs and unsettled questions associated with masks and vaccines. The erosion of trust between public schools and families feeds the perception that board members, school administrators, and educators are not listening to parents’ legitimate concerns. Adding to the frustration is the fact that taxpayers realize that they have limited options: elect a new school board majority or enroll their children in a school of choice.
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.
School districts' mask requirements reveal deep differences about who should make decisions about children’s health and how they are educated. Florida allows parents of children who were threatened or bullied because of mask choice to attend another public or private school of their choice. North Carolina should consider similar legislation; giving parents the choice over how and where their child is educated is key to ending the mask wars.
Critical race theorists argue that white supremacy is an underlying structure at the heart of American institutions, social structures, and professed ideals. Marxism offered a starting point for the development of Critical Theory and Postmodernism in the twentieth century. These intellectual movements sought to extend Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism to other aspects of society, politics, and culture. Starting in the 1970s, a group of legal scholars borrowing heavily from Critical Theory and Postmodernism began creating an intellectual foundation that would become critical race theory.
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.
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