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Conservative thinktank wants emails of outspoken UNC law professor

Posted By Sarah Ovaska On November 21, 2013 @ 4:44 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

The Civitas Institute, a Raleigh-based conservative group, has filed a public records request for emails and correspondence of Gene Nichol, a tenured University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor who has been critical of McCrory Administration policies.

Gene Nichol [1]

Gene Nichol

The public records request for Nichol’s emails was reported Thursday afternoon [2] by Sue Sturgis of the Institute for Southern Studies, a group which has closely tracked spending by Art Pope, a wealthy Republican donor serving as McCrory’s budget director. Civitas is funded almost entirely by a family foundation run by Pope.

From Sturgis’ post: [2]

The Raleigh, N.C.-based Civitas Institute wants the email correspondence, phone records, and calendars of Gene Nichol, director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity [3] and a Moral Monday protest participant. It seeks Nichols’ records during the period from Sept. 14 through Oct. 25, the day the request was filed. Civitas submitted the FOIA request the week after Nichol wrote a newspaper column critical of the McCrory administration.

FOIA laws were designed to ensure government information is available to the public. But in recent years, requests from conservative groups for the records of academics in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan have raised questions whether FOIA is being used for politically motivated harassment.

“For a crowd that talks so much about liberty, they sure love to shut people up,” Nichol told Facing South.

Civitas, which was also behind the controversial database of Moral Monday arrestees [4], filed the information request 11 days after Nichol published a column in The News & Observer [5]of Raleigh in which he called North Carolina’s new election law imposing strict photo voter ID requirements and other limits on voting the “most oppressive in the nation” and likened Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to “a 21st century successor to Maddox, Wallace and Faubus,” referring to the segregationist governors of Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas.

To read more, click here [2].

Nichol is also a board member of the N.C. Justice Center [6], an anti-poverty non-profit that N.C. Policy Watch is a part of.


Article printed from The Progressive Pulse: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org

URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2013/11/21/conservative-thinktank-wants-emails-of-outspoken-unc-law-professor/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2012/11/01/a-stony-silence-from-the-campaign-trail-about-efforts-to-combat-poverty/gene-nichol/

[2] reported Thursday afternoon: http://www.southernstudies.org/2013/11/conservative-group-demands-emails-phone-records-of.html

[3] UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity: http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/poverty/

[4] behind the controversial database of Moral Monday arrestees: http://www.southernstudies.org/2013/06/art-pope-funded-group-launches-database-targeting-.html

[5] column in The News & Observer : http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/14/3281798/mccrorys-stands-strain-his-ties.html

[6] N.C. Justice Center: http://www.ncjustice.org/

[7] Dean of UNC’s law school stepping down : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/05/19/dean-of-uncs-law-school-stepping-down/

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