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Arguing that it essential for the protection of the justice system as a whole and the principle of equal justice under the law, a group of nonpartisan North Carolina civil rights groups filed papers with the Supreme Court today calling on Justice Paul Newby to recuse himself in the legislative redistricting case currently before the court.

According to Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP:

“If justice and fairness are to prevail, the integrity of the court’s justices and the proceedings cannot be influenced by money or have even the appearance of being sold to the highest bidder. Whenever this possibility arises, we must call on the court to examine itself and if necessary recuse any justice or judge whose ability to rule fairly has been tempted or tampered with.”

Barber, Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina and Melvin Montford of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (pictured at left) spoke outside the Supreme Court after the papers were filed.

For more details on the request of the advocacy groups and their arguments, check out Sharon McCloskey’s article by clicking here.  You can read Barber’s entire statement by clicking here.

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Yesterday we reported that despite casting 76,525 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates, North Carolinians will be represented by nine or ten Republicans and only three or four Democrats in the U.S. House. The reason for this, of course, is the absurd gerrymandering performed by the GOP legislature.

Not surprisingly, however, North Carolina is far from the only state to suffer such a fate. As the folks at Think Progress report, it looks like Americans as a whole voted for a slightly Democratic or evenly divided U.S. House of Representatives.

The current count: Repubs 233, Dems 192.

(Photo courtesy of Think Progress).

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The conservative leadership in the N.C. General Assembly has been trying to repair its image and dreadful approval ratings in recent months after more than a year of substantive and P.R. disasters. 

Hence, the phenomenon of a group that has made one of its top priorities the repeal of a law known as the Racial Justice Act getting so visible all of a sudden in pushing to jumpstart the long dormant movement to compensate the mostly African-American victims of forced sterilization. When one of your signature causes amounts to harmful and hateful effort to, effectively,  reinstate racial discrimination in the application of the death penalty, your image on issues related to race can use a lot of burnishing.

Unfortunately, as so often happens with a group that’s connected to and reliant upon the far right Tea Party crowd, doing the right thing is not so easy Read More

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New from the good people at Democracy NC:

For Release: Wednesday, May 2, 2012  – Contact: Bob Hall, 919-489-1931

“Voter Confusion Index” Ranks NC Counties, Hotline & Website Set Up to Help Voters

A new analysis of voting precincts shows that Cumberland, Wayne, Durham, Pitt, and Pasquotank are the five counties with the most complex changes to their state legislative and Congressional districts lines – changes that can create confusion for voters and possibly lead to people receiving the wrong ballot at the polls.

[See data for 100 counties at: http://www.democracy-nc.org/downloads/CountyPrecinctConfusion.xls] Read More