|Rep. Laura Budd
The Democrats who voted for H40: Cecil Brockman, Laura Budd (why?), Abe Jones, Garland Pierce, Shelley Willingham, and Michael Wray. Budd and Wray are white. Everyone else is Black. Note that Tricia Cotham's not on the list.
I searched all these six House members in social media, going back to February, to see if any of them opted to explain their votes on H40, their siding with the Republicans over something that sounds very like the racial politics of the Nixon era -- "Prevent Civil Disorder," and what exactly in your mind reaches the level of "disorder"? The bill is so transparently aimed at the folks who have for generations pushed for their civil rights, the concession of so many Black legislators is, well, noticeable.
But not one of those six issued any public rationale that I can find, or even a scrap of discussion that might shed some blessed light on their odd fellow-travelling -- quite literally helping to demonize Black Lives Matter and other mass movements to come. Who else didn't explain themselves most noticeably and notably? Mecklenburg Democrat freshman Laura Budd, who is a very liberal attorney and who is quite voluble discussing all sorts of other legislation on her own Facebook group, but sez nary a word about her surprising defection on H40.
So it's not surprising that today the American Civil Liberties Union announced their legal remedy:
WLOS — The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit, challenging a North Carolina law just passed this year that imposes stricter penalties for protesting and rioting.
House Bill 40 increases penalties for protesting and makes protestors liable for civil damages to individuals harmed by a protest, even where a protestor only verbally encouraged activities defined as “rioting” and did not take any individual actions to cause injury or damage.
...the lawsuit contends that “multiple provisions of the law, including provisions that could apply to protestors whose own conduct is entirely peaceful, are overbroad and vague and will function to dissuade people from engaging in lawful protest activities.”
“HB40 represents a culmination of the legislature’s repeated efforts to crack down in response to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. It is a flagrant attempt to vilify and criminalize a social justice movement. This bill forces North Carolinians to risk the immediate and long-term loss of their freedom when exercising their right to protest. This suit is an effort to protect the right to protest and advances our continued support and defense of the Black Lives Matter movement and activists,” stated Sam Davis, Attorney from the ACLU of NC Legal Foundation.