Up-to-date analysis of the local political landscape
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Federal Judge Shuts Down That Shit (Republican Whining)
The title above refers to Step 9 in what follows:
May 28, 2015: Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly pass the "magistrate opt-out" law, S 2, "Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies,"which allows religiously motivated public servants to refuse to deal in any way with gay marriages.
May 28, 2015: Gov. Pat McCrory announces he will veto S 2, saying he's offended by public servants who don't/won't do their jobs.
June 11, 2015: Republicans override the governor's veto. S 2, now the law.
June 12, 2015: NC Attorney General Roy Cooper criticizes S 2, saying "it is likely to be challenged constitutionally." Ricky Diaz, NCGOP spokesperson, immediately sandbags Cooper with the following statement: "Unfortunately for North Carolina, our attorney general has a bad habit of picking and choosing which laws he wants to defend and abdicating his responsibilities as our chief law enforcement officer."
December 9, 2015: Three couples file a federal lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of S 2. Roy Cooper's department automatically engaged as the state's counsel in defense of S 2.
February 5, 2016: Cooper's office files motion for summary dismissal of the lawsuit.
February 5, 2016: Same day, Republican leaders in House & Senate (Tim Moore & Phil Berger) announce that they plan to hire their own outside counsel to "assist" Cooper's office in the defense of S 2.
March 2016: Private attorneys for Moore & Berger file to "intervene" in the S 2 federal lawsuit. (Without being granted intervenor status, Moore & Berger can't stick their partisan noses into the litigation.)
July 8, 2016:U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell denies Moore & Berger's request to intervene, writing that Attorney General Cooper has "zealously" and "aggressively" fought for S 2 by seeking dismissal of plaintiffs' claims. The judge adds that he sees "no benefit" from letting others in government positions intervene in the case using outside counsel.
J.W. Williamson was the founding editor in 1972 of the Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review, which he edited until July of 2000. He has taught college classes in Appalachian history, cultural politics, and literature, and he has lectured widely on the pop-culture history of "Appalachia" in the American consciousness. His books include Interviewing Appalachia, Southern Mountaineers in Silent Films, and Hillbillyland: What the Mountains Did to the Movies and What the Movies Did to the Mountains. He has won the Thomas Wolfe Award given by the Western North Carolina Historical Society, the Laurel Leaves Award given by the Appalachian Consortium, a special Weatherford Award given by Berea College, and the Cratis Williams-James Brown Award given by the Appalachian Studies Association.
The views expressed on WataugaWatch are solely those of J.W. Williamson or individual contributors and are not necessarily shared nor endorsed by the Watauga County Democratic Party nor by any other adults of sound mind in this or any other universe.