Why nominee Neil Gorsuch is bad for the US Supreme Court

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/
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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.
  1. Republicans do not deserve control of this stolen seat.
  2. Gorsuch has a history of hostility toward all kinds of regular and disadvantaged people seeking protections from the privileged and the powerful.
  3. He tends to rule for billionaire donors and big corporations.
  4. He has a frightening willingness to limit women’s access to health care.
  5. 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].
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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.
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Read more about these points, including the many groups of citizens who lose in Gorsuch’s court, at 
http://now.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gorsuch-Action-Brief-.pdf

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Why Tillis does not know what to expect at Town Halls

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

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NC Legislative Update #6 – 3/12/17

NC NOW legislative update #6 includes damage from the Trump administration’s new interpretation of Title IX, lawsuit updates, and bill tracking.

This Week

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

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No Shouting Yet in Town Halls Without Burr, Tillis and Holding

In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis said “he would host town hall meetings with constituents, but only if they were done without shouting or name calling.”  Some friends and I have attended 4 town halls between us in the past few weeks. All four town halls have all been orderly events filled with people who really want to talk about their concerns, or share their stories. We’ve heard no shouting in any of them, although three of the four were ones with absent elected officials – Congressman Holding and Senators Burr and Tillis were refusing to hold them. Congressman David Price held the fourth (actually Price is holding a round of town halls), and by many accounts, his constituents left feeling heard. But even if people do actually shout at a town hall meeting, it is part of Tillis’ job to face the consequences of his actions!

The coverage of the town hall meetings has been interesting. When CBS affiliate WNCN covered a town hall meeting in Apex absent Congressman George Holding, they covered it with the title “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” and showed people in larger town halls elsewhere sounding off. However, the Apex Town Hall meeting on Feb 23, 2017, was more than civil. The organizers allowed everyone to speak who wanted to speak. We heard from over 70 concerned constituents on a wide range of issues. Most people were from Apex. There were great energy and ideas flowing in the room! The coverage of people at the Apex town hall was accurate, but the framing of the story (starting with the title) may have been misleading

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Photo Credit: Sarah Moncelle

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NC NOW Newsletter – March/April 2017

Latest newsletter at NC NOW Newsletter, March and April 2017. This description is from the President’s Voice section on the front page, telling you what is in the newsletter.

People have woken up in NC! We had an unbelievable turnout at the Women’s March On Raleigh (WMOR) and in 12 other cities in NC!! And 3 weeks later at the Moral March and HKonJ Assembly on 2/11/17 had its largest turnout to date. The WMOR had estimates ranged from 12,000 to 40,000 people. Read about the WMOR on page 4. Read about HKonJ on page 2. People are raring to go!

Also, constituents have found a new way to deal with elected officials who are trying to ignore them—have the meetings without them! This is happening with town hall meetings around the state and country! And this may be happening with NC bills sent to die in committee. More on page 2 and page 5.

Some realize the value of experience, and NC NOW is helping provide that. NC NOW, LWV, BPW and ACLU did an Advocacy 101 training on Feb 16, and are planning another for March 28 at NCAE. More on page 3.

To get news and events and actions in a timely manner, please send your current email address to president at raleighnow.org. Or join or volunteer through our website at www.northcarolinanow.org. Stay up to date on NC NOW and local chapter news through email and facebook.

“Advocacy 101: The Basics” – 3/28/17

NC NOW is working together with League of Women Voters of Wake County, the ACLU-NC and Paula Wolf on a second presentation of Advocacy 101 training. Learn or review some basic skills for the Citizen Advocate with us on Tuesday, March 28, at the NCAE building in Raleigh. The “Do Your Job” theme must reinforced at all levels of elected officials, especially Legislators (NC House and Senate), and Congress (US House and Senate). Click on the flyer below to get tickets or go directly to eventbrite

Note: the first Advocacy 101 event we held filled up in the first 3 days it was posted (filled up in January for showing on 2/16/17)! 

NC NOW Legislative Update #5 – 5 Mar 17

Governor Cooper introduced his proposed budget for FY 2017-2018 on March 1, 2017. It emphasizes increased spending on education and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses, it is more aspirational than practical, and it is unlikely that the proposals in this budget will make much progress in the General Assembly. For highlights, see: http://www.wral.com/highlights-of-gov-roy-cooper-s-proposed-statebudget/16560168/

Durham Tech, where Governor Cooper proposed his first budget

Governor Cooper introduced his budget at Durham Technical Community College

There were dueling press conferences in the Legislative Building on the repeal of HB2. Proponents of a full repeal with no strings attached were pitted against supporters or the bipartisan HB186 that would repeal HB2 but also allow opponents of local ordinances to call for a referendum on any proposed ordinance. The Governor weighed in by observing that a compromise bill was possible if proponents of HB186 would negotiate over the referendum provision—which so far they will not do. For a fuller account, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135420484.html

Senator Norman Sanderson of Pamlico County has filed a draconian bill to crack down on local governments and public universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws or violate the state’s 2015 law against sanctuary city policies. The bill (S145) would strip funding from state universities that do not comply with the law and deprive local governments of revenue from a wide variety of sources. There are disturbing indications that the Senate leadership may support this bill. A milder bill (H63) is being considered in the house that does not target universities and has a shorter list of state revenue sources that would be denied to municipalities. For more details see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135544723.html

Lawsuit Updates
Since our Republican-dominated General Assembly has been passing law after law that is being or has been challenged in court, in addition to keeping up with new legislation introduced this session, I believe it is equally important to track the status of the various challenges to laws that have already been passed.

See the whole North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_5 from 5Mar17, including bill tracking.