Legislative Update for the week ending March 19, 2017, by NC NOW’s lobbyist, Robin Davis
Governor Cooper has issued his first veto. He vetoed the bill that would make elections of District and Superior Court judges partisan. Cooper, who led the fight to make judicial elections nonpartisan in 1990 when he was a state senator, said that judges should be elected based on their experience and ability, not on their political party. He also noted that candidates not affiliated with a party would have a very difficult time getting on the ballot because they would be required to get signatures of 2 percent of the voters in their districts. A three-fifths vote in both houses will be required to overturn the Governor’s veto, which is the expected outcome because Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses.
Both the House and the Senate have turned their attention to their respective budgets. The budgets differ in details, but both houses are proposing plans that will benefit business and the wealthy through changes in the tax laws with the Senate plan more drastic than the plan being considered in the House. For more details and a comparison of the proposed plans, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138891468.html
As protest at the legislative building increases, the General Assembly police are studying ways to increase security. This is an issue we need to keep an eye on.
Videoing protesters in NC Legislative Building during protests of ‘Special Sessions’ in December. 12/15/16. Photo Credit: Susan Eder
Please join some of NC’s progressive organizations as we speak out against Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Monday, March 20, at 11am, at 310 New Bern Ave, in front of Senator Thom Tillis’ office. See the facebook event for “Media event: Progressives speak out against Neil Gorsuch” at https://www.facebook.com/events/143022306221621/
NOW Urges that Senator(s) filibuster the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and, should a filibuster fail, vote “no”.
Main issues described in NOW’s brief.
- Republicans do not deserve control of this stolen seat.
- Gorsuch has a history of hostility toward all kinds of regular and disadvantaged people seeking protections from the privileged and the powerful.
- He tends to rule for billionaire donors and big corporations.
- He has a frightening willingness to limit women’s access to health care.
- He is extremely anti-abortion based on his writings.
NOW President Terry O’Neill writes, “Donald Trump has been in office for less than 60 days. But already his actions could impact the lives and well being of women for decades to come, if not generations [with his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S Supreme Court].
Starting March 20, 2017, Gorsuch begins his nomination hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is imperative that we all demand our Senators hear our voices and filibuster the Gorsuch nomination. See link to phone script at end of post.
Posted in abortion, ACA, civil rights, Courts, do your job, health care, lawsuits, lgbt, male entitlement, Supreme Court, women
Tagged abortion, civil rights, Courts, discrimination, racism, reproductive rights
In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis alleges that people who go to his town hall meetings shout and call names, so he doesn’t go. In fact, he has not been to a town hall meeting this year (the $25 a head Durham Chamber of Commerce meeting on March 6 does not count, nor does the March 7th phone call he offered with only an hours’ notice on social media). It is natural he does not know what to expect.
Senator Tillis, we have been to two town hall meetings held in your honor, and you’ve got it all wrong.
First, the people there are not scary or menacing. They look like, well, people. You don’t have to take our word for it though, there are lots of pictures online.
Speakers lined up at this town hall meeting to share their concerns and fears. Respectful pictures of Senators Tillis and Burr at front of room. Photo Credit: Sarah Sydney
Posted in ACA, Courts, discrimination, education, hate crimes, HB 2, jobs, lgbt, minimum wage, Obamacare, public education, racism, Supreme Court
Tagged education, HB 2, immigration, Jobs, Obamacare, racism, reproductive rights
NC NOW legislative update #6 includes damage from the Trump administration’s new interpretation of Title IX, lawsuit updates, and bill tracking.
In light of the Trump administration’s new interpretation that Title IX does not allow transgender people to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Virginia case concerning this issue. The case was sent back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the Trump administration’s new rule. This non-decision will have the effect of making transgender bathroom rights a state-by-state issue. The issues can still be challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds, but losing Title IX is a serious blow to framing a successful lawsuit. The constitutionality of the new interpretation of Title IX could be challenged, but no suit on these grounds has been filed. This refusal of the Supreme Court to rule in this case will impact both the North Carolina lawsuits and the effort to repeal HB2. For more details, see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article136866748.html
Posted in abortion, Courts, HB 2, immigration, lawsuits, Medicaid, minimum wage, reproductive rights, Title IX
Tagged abortion, Courts, hb2, immigration, lgbt, medicaid expansion, Title IX
We can’t afford another HB 2 disaster. Few people realize the other damage it continues to do, including the harm HB 2 does to women. Take action NOW to tell YOUR REPS to keep the special session focused on disaster relief. Oppose the partisan power grab (especially of NC Supreme Court) and any other interference in our state. Join Moral Monday at Legislature on 12/13/16 and maybe other days as well. This session may last a few days.
These actions with details were sent via mailchimp email to members of NC NOW and others on our email list. To get on the list, fill in volunteer info on the NC NOW website.
Moral Monday at the NC Legislative Building from Feb 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Vicki Boyer
Two things to do NOW, the first can be done from anywhere –
NC NOW Newsletter for October/November 2016 is available online. What are some of the topics covered in it?
What do we do now (after the election)?
We celebrated NOW’s 50th anniversary and this historic time in US history of a woman running for president, and running as the candidate with the absolute most experience of the bunch. More on page 3.
We find seeing is believing—video of Senator Burr’s shocking comments made at a GOP event propel him into the spotlight. Note: be sure to mail any exposing videos to CNN! More on page 2.
Posted in Courts, discrimination, reproductive rights, signature ad, stonewalling, voting
Tagged Courts, documentaries, protests, stonewalling qualified candidate, voter suppression, voting
Finally it seems women are credited for being angry about injustice, rather than vilified for it.
Cases dramatized in a new and better light: Marcia Clark’s role as lead prosecutor in 1995 O.J. Simpson case and Anita Hill testifying about sexual harassment by Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.
“Anita Hill, a law professor once discredited for testifying against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, has made a comeback as a fearless example of truth and conviction in HBO’s “Confirmation” starring Kerry Washington.”
When Marcia Clark was interviewed by Larry King about “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” she said, “They got the big issue so right that it’s painful to watch.”