Commentary

HB2 update: More federal pressure; McCrory’s bad week; What happens when/if the Supreme Court takes it up?

Three quick HB2 updates for your afternoon:

#1 – The Charlotte Observer reports that still more federal agencies are looking at HB2 and its conflicts with federal law:

North Carolina is facing additional threats to its federal funding as two more agencies – the U.S. Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development – say they are reviewing the state’s controversial House Bill 2.

Earlier this week, U.S. Justice Department officials told Gov. Pat McCrory that the law – which pre-empted Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance – violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX, which bars discrimination in education based on sex. That could jeopardize billions in federal education funding.

In response to questions from the Observer Thursday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Transportation wrote that the agency is reviewing House Bill 2 “to determine if, among other things, it violates non-discrimination grant provisions for DOT federally-assisted projects.”

The federal DOT provides about $1 billion a year to North Carolina.

#2 – Be sure to check out today’s edition of The Fitzsimon File“The follies of another week dominated by HB2.” As Chris notes:

“Thursday, McCrory made a disjointed appearance before the North Carolina Chamber’s government affairs meeting in Raleigh, awkwardly repeating many false claims about the law in an on-stage interview with Tim Boyum of Time Warner Cable News.

That interview came after an embarrassing appearance by McCrory on a Charlotte radio show earlier in the week where he laughed off the criticisms of HB2 and claimed that Bruce Springsteen canceled his concert in Greensboro because only 8,000 tickets were sold, not because of his opposition to the anti-LGBT law.

It turns out that more than 15,000 tickets were sold and the concert was basically a sellout. It’s not clear where McCrory came up with the 8,000 figure but his false claim made news in North Carolina and around the country.

It is certainly not the biggest part of the HB2 story, but it does make you wonder about McCrory’s grasp of the facts or his willingness to simply make things up to support his position.”

#3 – Finally, what happens when HB2 or some similar law eventually makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court? Find out next Tuesday at our special Crucial Conversation luncheon:

A conversation with nationally acclaimed scholar, author and commentator Michael Gerhardt: The Merrick Garland nomination and its implications for the U.S. Supreme Court

Register below

It’s been well over a month now since President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, however, Senate Republicans (including Richard Burr and Thom Tillis) have remained adamant that Garland’s nomination will not even receive a hearing – much less an “up or down” confirmation vote.

To veteran constitutional law expert, Professor Michael Gerhardt, this is an important and disturbing turn in the history of the Court and the politics surrounding it. As Gerhardt has explained in a variety of national publications, Garland is one of the most distinguished and well-prepared nominees in Supreme Court history. If senators follow through with their plans to ignore the nomination, it will have important implications for the future of the Court.

Join us as Gerhardt examines the Garland nomination, what we can expect from a divided Court comprised of just eight justices and what the Senate blockade might mean for future presidents and nominees.

About the speaker: Michael Gerhardt is Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the UNC School of Law. He specializes in constitutional conflicts and has been active as a special counsel, scholar, adviser, expert witness, and public commentator on all the major conflicts between presidents and Congress over the past quarter century.

Professor Gerhardt is the only legal scholar to participate in Supreme Court confirmation hearings for five of the nine justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court. He served as Special Counsel assisting the Clinton White House on Justice Stephen Breyer’s confirmation hearings. In 2005, he advised several senators on President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States, and he testified as an expert witness in the confirmation hearings for Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. In 2009-2010, Professor Gerhardt served as Special Counsel to Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Don’t miss this very special event!

Register here

When: Tuesday May 10, at noon — Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. (At the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets)

Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Cost: $10, admission includes a box lunch.

Register below

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.com

 

 

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