Archives

Uncategorized

Former state representative Stephen LaRoque appeared in federal court in Raleigh last week to face charges of theft and money laundering. Pending trial in Greenville at a later date LaRoque was released on an unsecured bond and restricted to travel within the 44 counties of the Eastern District of North Carolina. That has not stopped another case involving LaRoque from making it all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington DC. The spotlight will be on voter suppression, namely the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, not LaRoque, though LaRoque’s name and statements appear in documents submitted to the court, including statements referring to his status as a state legislator.
Read More

Uncategorized

It’s been a better-than-expected morning for caring and thinking North Carolinians. For now at least, the state House appears to have torpedoed Rep. Stam’s horrific school vouchers bill. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles up I-95, the U.S. Supremes have upheld much of the Affordable Care Act.  

These are both developments worth celebrating.

It’s important to note, however, that both victories were/are narrow and partial. The 11-11 vote on the vouchers bill does not at all appear to be a final nail in the vouchers coffin. To the contrary, the sponsors seem sure to try again — maybe even as soon as today.

And as for the ACA, preliminary readings of the court decision indicate that we are likely on our way to lots more knock down, drag out fights at the state level if the law is to achieve something akin to full implementation.

The bottom line: Progressives would do well to celebrate today’s events by redoubling their efforts to fight the extremists on the right who would take our state and country back to the 19th Century.  Let’s get back to work.

Uncategorized

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled today that sentencing laws which require children convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole are unconstitutional. It is a sign of our times that such a modest ruling — one that still allows kids to be sentenced to life in prison without parole and merely permits judges to consider mitigating facts before imposing such a sentence — would even be controversial.

But, hey, we live in a world in which a Supreme Court Justice — in this case the amazingly reactionary Samuel Alito — can write something like the following (as he did in dissent): Read More

Uncategorized

While the Obama administration has taken some steps in its stance on immigration issues, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to be somewhat sluggish in its decision regarding Arizona’s SB1070.

In similar spirit as protestors in Arizona, local NC groups and individuals in an alliance called “We are NC” will be holding events throughout the state, including an event in downtown Raleigh at 7pm in a “Teach-in and Silent Vigil.”

More information on the Raleigh event can be found on their facebook event page.

And also check out this documentary short following a local NC undocumented youth as part of a master’s thesis by UNC student Josh Davis. His full project, “the undocumentary,” here.