Opinion: Supreme Court Resurrects the ‘Purge,’ and McConnell Saw It Coming

It was a brilliant and, opponents would say, devious move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Stall, obstruct and block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court replacement for the late Antonin Scalia.

That pick, Judge Merrick Garland, once a thoroughly acceptable and moderate choice to many Republicans, never had a chance in a ramped-up partisan atmosphere. Instead, the next president, Donald Trump, appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch, with immediate and long-lasting repercussions, this week reaching into the voting booth.

By a 5-4 vote in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the conservatives on the court reaffirmed an Ohio law an appeals court had rejected as being a violation of the National Voter Registration Act, which says states cannot purge voters for failing to vote but can figure out how to remove those who have moved or died from the list. The state — a crucial battleground — has a particularly stringent test, using failure to vote in a single federal election cycle as the trigger to start the process.

The Latest With NC Voter ID Laws and the Upcoming Election


CHARLOTTE, NC — North Carolina’s Voter ID Law is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Mecklenburg County residents are learning they could have less time to cast an early ballot in this year’s election.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis is weighing in on these voter issues and what they could mean as the election draws closer.

GOP launches minority outreach in N.C., defends voter law in court

CHARLOTTE — Republicans were busy in North Carolina and Washington on Monday. Did the activity in the courts and on a conservative stage have the effect of muddying the welcome mat the GOP rolled out for minority voters in the state?

Earlier in the day, Republican state officials filed to urge a federal court to dismiss two lawsuits challenging changes in North Carolina’s voting laws, changes opponents contend disproportionately harm African American voters. A third challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice is waiting in the wings.

Monday evening in Charlotte, at the opening of the Republican National Committee’s African American engagement office in North Carolina, Earl Philip, North Carolina African American state director, said he believed in the message he has been taking to churches, schools and community groups.

In N.C. skirmish in national voting-rights wars, student once thrown off ballot wins race

Being thrown off the ballot was the best thing that ever happened to Montravias King. The national coverage that rained down on the Elizabeth City State University student when a local elections board in North Carolina rejected his initial City Council bid surely helped him break out from the field of candidates. He got the chance to plead his case, and his views, before millions, reaching many more people than a meager campaign budget could ever allow. This week, according to preliminary results, the university senior was the top vote-getter and will get to represent the ward where his school is located.

Was turnout affected by the actions of the board in an increasingly partisan state atmosphere where restrictive voting laws have drawn legal action from many groups, including the U.S. Justice Department? King, who never stopped thinking local, didn’t take any chances, knocking on 365 doors for votes, he said in the News & Record. He said that in addition to his fellow students, he had gotten a “great and amazing” reception from older voters. That he had also discussed the issue of voter suppression with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who went to North Carolina for the story, was an unexpected extra.

Past is present as North Carolina honors 1963 march and battles voting laws

CHARLOTTE — In North Carolina, commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s dream credited past struggles while a current battle over voting laws took center stage.

In an uptown Charlotte park Wednesday, the crowd used the examples of civil rights pioneers in a continuation of the Moral Monday protests against conservative laws from the Republican-controlled state legislature. Similar gatherings were planned in each of the state’s 13 congressional districts. While many issues, including education and health care spending, were reflected in comments and emblazoned on signs, the new state voter-ID bill was a unifying cause.

Later Wednesday evening, several Democratic and Republican legislators took questions from their Mecklenburg County constituents in a raucous forum called, ironically as it turned out, “Solving It Together.” At the top of the list in hundreds of questions submitted beforehand – voter-ID laws.

Keeping It Positive: North Carolina’s hidden gems and controversial headlines


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CHARLOTTE, NC: Heard of the K-9 Museum in Fayetteville? National Political columnist Mary C. Curtis learned about that museum and more of North Carolina’s hidden gems at a NC Division of Tourism showcase.

Lawsuits greet new North Carolina voting laws

Add Rosanell Eaton’s name to the list of those who might be affected by North Carolina’s new voting bill, which starts but doesn’t end with provisions requiring certain forms of photo ID at the polls.

The 92-year-old Eaton is a plaintiff in a lawsuit announced on Monday after North Carolina’s Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill, passed at the end of the legislative session with the support of GOP super-majorities in the state House and Senate.

North Carolina GOP tries to take advantage of Voting Rights Act ruling

In North Carolina, the Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act meant full speed ahead for proponents of new voter-ID laws – at least that was the word last week. Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, who had called requirements for federal pre-clearance before voting changes “legal headaches,” said in reports that the court’s ruling “should speed things along greatly.”

Then on Monday, Apodaca said debate on the legislation requiring photo identification to vote in person in North Carolina would be put on hold for a week because Republicans are still working on it, according to the Associated Press.

As a continuing backdrop to the legislative back and forth, this week the state capital of Raleigh saw another headline-making weekly demonstration.

What kind of state is North Carolina? Democrats and GOP make high-stakes bets

Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina are in an ideological standoff, with future elections in the balance. That explains why Kay Hagan, a Democratic senator facing a tough 2014 reelection race, endorsed same-sex marriage, and Republicans in control of the statehouse made moves to tighten voting restrictions – all in one week.

A voter ID battle in North Carolina

Elections have consequences. In North Carolina, which elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and a GOP super-majority in both the state House and Senate in 2012, legislation to institute photo identification as a prerequisite for voting is again on the table.