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What Republicans did not want to hear when they blocked Judge Stephens from speaking during Committee hearing

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Here are some excerpts from his prepared statement:

It is my opinion that the quality and integrity of the trial bench [in North Carolina] is above reproach. I have found no evidence to the contrary. None. I have heard no sworn testimony or information presented to this body or any other legislative committee that challenges or impugns the quality or the integrity of the [North Carolina] trial judiciary.

I understand that the fire trucks are here, but where is the fire? Who saw the fire? Who declared that the judicial house was on fire? You are drawing up plans to rebuild our judicial house that is not on fire and has no structural damage. Where is any evidence that the quality and integrity of this state’s judiciary is so poor that the constitution of [North Carolina] must be immediately drastically changed? Who has declared the emergency? On what basis?

Oh, there’s an emergency all right. But it’s one of Republicans’ making. They’re engaged in an all-out war on the judiciary, from the NC Supreme Court all the way down to the District and Superior Courts. And as for Republican judges who are already sitting, when one of their own (Doug McCullough) resigned from his CoA seat early so Governor Cooper could name his replacement instead of the Legislature, well. That just pissed them off to the point they decided to burn the whole damn thing down. Judge Stephens continues, and hat-tip to NC Policy Watch for (once again) providing truth to power:



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Friday News: Remember Heather

PROSECUTORS UPGRADE CHARGE TO 1ST DEGREE MURDER FOR WHITE SUPREMACIST WHO DROVE CAR INTO CROWD: The man accused of driving into a crowd protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville faces a new charge of first-degree murder after a court hearing Thursday in which prosecutors presented surveillance video and other evidence against him. Prosecutors announced at the start of a preliminary hearing for James Alex Fields that they were seeking to upgrade the second-degree murder charge he previously faced in the Aug. 12 collision in Charlottesville that left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and dozens injured. The judge agreed to that and ruled there is probable cause for all charges against Fields, including nine lesser felony counts, to proceed. Fields was photographed hours before the attack with a shield bearing the emblem of Vanguard America, one of the hate groups that took part in the rally, although the group denied any association with him.
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New York AG files lawsuit against FCC over Net Neutrality vote

And rumor has it Josh Stein just added NC to the effort:

Citing his investigation into the FCC’s public comments process preceding the vote, Schneiderman declared his office’s intention to sue to “stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of net neutrality” — a forthcoming legal challenge that’s sure to be in good company. In response to questions from TechCrunch, Schneiderman’s office noted that he will spearhead a multi-state lawsuit and that we can expect it “in the coming days.”

“We will be filing a claim to preserve protections for New Yorkers and all Americans. And we’ll be working aggressively to stop the FCC’s leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and to our economy,” Schneiderman said in a press release.

Hopefully they’ll be able to get an injunction put in place with the quickness, before we start seeing shenanigans with our Internet access.



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WUNC uncovers disgusting behavior by lawmakers in NC Legislature

And what can only be described as a blatant cover-up of said behavior:

The first incident happened ten years ago when Representative David Almond (R-Stanly) allegedly exposed himself to his legislative assistant – and then masturbated on an office chair. The legislative assistant reportedly filed a complaint, and legislators dealt with the situation swiftly.

“The chair we put away. There was semen on the chair. We went to the individual and dealt with the situation,” said House Representative Julia Howard (R-Forsyth), who was on the Legislative Ethics Committee at that time. “We put a fine line in the sand and addressed it. That’s the end of your story.”

Uh, no. The lack of exposure this incident received because you and others decided that “story” should not be told at the time is a story in itself. And it’s a good bet at least part of that story is the desire not to impugn a Republican when they were counting on capitalizing on the imprisonment of Democrat Jim Black:



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Thursday News: Walkout

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DEMOCRATS LEAVE COMMITTEE MEETING AFTER REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO ALLOW JUDGE TO SPEAK: Bishop said that since Stephens isn’t employed by Cooper’s office, he wouldn’t let him speak. Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhuri of Raleigh told Bishop that was “a missed opportunity.” A fellow Democrat, Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham, then asked permission to speak. Bishop denied him several times but eventually let McKissick ask a question. McKissick asked for Stephens to be able to give his presentation. Bishop disagreed, saying he’s the committee chairman and gets to make that decision. Then McKissick, Chaudhuri and the third Democrat on the committee, Joel Ford of Charlotte, stood up and walked out without another word. The meeting proceeded without them. At the end of the meeting the remaining Republicans introduced a new set of proposed election maps for judges and district attorneys – an issue that was not on the public agenda for the meeting.
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