As noted in this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing , there are lots of important reasons to be deeply concerned about the decision of a political group funded almost exclusively by the state Budget Director to demand the private correspondence of a prominent McCrory administration critic.
ICYMI, however, Professor Paul Carrington of the Duke University School of Law (the school’s former Dean) authored a column  (and then an exchange of letters to the editor – click here for the Civitas letter ) in the Durham Herald-Sun in recent days that sheds additional light on the subject.
Here is Carrington’s most recent on-the-money take — which was published last Friday :
Civitas not telling whole story about Nichol
The Dec. 10 letters to The Herald-Sun include one from Civitas protesting the opinion I published last Friday.
My opinion was responding to Civitas’ effort to examine all the personal and professional files of UNC Professor Gene Nichol.
Civitas now claims that it was seeking only to investigate the Center on Poverty that Nichol administers.
I have in hand and am sharing with the editor the document served by Civitas on the university and its demand is not limited to his work for that Center on Poverty.
I therefore reiterate my opinion that Civitas was maliciously seeking to find and publicize anything that might embarrass Professor Nichol to punish him for his political views. And I also note that the new alternative plan of Civitas to open only the files of Nichol’s poor clients would violate those clients’ right to confidentiality.
If he opened them to Civitas, he could lose his license to practice law. More Civitas malice!
Paul D. Carrington
Professor of Law, Duke University