Author: Amy R. Worley

Mob Rule is Not the Answer

Symbols are dangerous things. They signify much without saying anything. They are imprecise instruments of communication, oozing meaning. We see a symbol and we react. We literally embody the meaning by how our nervous system responds to it. Does the bald eagle signify American freedom or Native American ancestor worship? Both. How about the Star of David? Judaism or a Hindu chakra? Both. The Ichthys (the “Jesus fish” icon)? Jesus or the Earth Mother? Both. The meaning depends on both the larger context and the person looking at the symbol. All “tribes” have symbols. Take political parties–donkeys and elephants–or...

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Fair Voting Districts, the Board of Elections and the Constitutionality of North Carolina Votes

You know what I don’t want to be when I grow up? Governor of North Carolina. Elected on the slimmest of margins, the current governor, Roy Cooper, goes to work every day knowing that the North Carolina General Assembly  (“NCGA”) is focused on two issues: (1) limiting Cooper’s power and (2) maximizing their own. Because the GOP has a veto-proof majority, there is very little Cooper can do about it. And so, he is at least until the next legislative election, entangled in a Sisyphean battle for partisan power. I don’t suppose Cooper’s lot is quite as grave (pun intended)...

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3rd Time’s the Charm: SCOTUS Rules (Again and Again) that North Carolina is Completely Rat F**cked

It’s a hat trick, a Triple Crown victory for North Carolina voters today! SCOTUS ruled, per curium, for the third time in as many weeks, that yes, Virginia, the GOP led North Carolina General Assembly, did violate the United States Constitution when it drew state voting district maps in 2011. This somewhat nervous progressive is dumb struck. If you’d like a great, quick summary of the 7—yes, I said 7—voting rights cases arising out of the North Carolina GOP’s 2011 gerrymander to end all gerrymanders, check out this great post on the Election Law Blog. Back to today and...

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SCOTUS to NC: There is Rat F**ked and then, there is North Carolina.

Writing this piece feels like talking during a no-hitter. I’m not generally superstitious, but the past few days of Supreme Court voting rights cases makes me nervous. This war-weary voting rights advocate is not accustomed to so much good news in a such a short time, especially not from SCOTUS, an institution known for crafting law at a pace akin to stalagmite formation. Last week, SCOTUS declined to hear the North Carolina “voter ID” law, letting stand a court of appeals opinion finding unconstitutional, intentional race discrimination by the North Carolina General Assembly (again). I wrote about the impact of that decision here....

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The SCOTUS Voting Rights Cert Denial and Dog Whistling in NC Politics

The jumble of North Carolina election laws winding through the federal and state courts right now is confusing, even to insufferable law nerds. Following the 2010 census, the North Carolina GOP-controlled legislature enacted a suite of legislation aimed at increasing the likelihood that Republicans would be elected to various political offices. There are two broad categories of North Carolina election legislation: (1) district drawing or “gerrymandering” laws and (2) limits on the time, place and manner of voting.  I discussed some of the more important NC gerrymandering cases here. Last week the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied a petition to...

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