Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: SCOTUS Gerrymandering Decision; New Noise Ordinance; NC Budget

After days of “wait and see”, finally a decision from the Supreme Court about North Carolina’s Gerrymandering case. We’ll go through the details.

It got noisy at City Council as they passed a new noise ordinance which some say violates freedom of speech.

The North Carolina Senate votes ‘yes’ on House Bill 370 requiring sheriffs in the state to work with ICE.  Urban sheriffs are opposed, and Governor Cooper calls it “unconstitutional.”  And the legislature has a budget compromise.

Axios uncovers documents allegedly explaining why former Governor Pat McCrory isn’t working for Donald Trump.

Mike Collins and a roundtable of reporters talks about those stories and more on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests: 

Michael Bitzer, Political Scientist, Catawba College

Gwendolyn Glenn, WFAE Reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Jonathan Lowe, reporter for Spectrum News

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV Reporter

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: NC Gerrymandering At SCOTUS; Deadly CMPD Shooting; CMS Budget

Charlotte grapples with another deadly police shooting. A CMPD officer shot and killed a man outside a Beatties Ford Road restaurant Monday morning. Police say the man had a gun and posed a threat, but protestors paint a different story.

The long-awaited Mueller report has been handed over. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says it removes a cloud over the president, and now he wants to investigate the FBI for possible anti-Trump bias.

The U.S. Supreme Court once again sounds reluctant to take a stance on partisan gerrymandering as the justices hear arguments over North Carolina’s congressional map.

An official in the Charlotte Catholic Diocese resigned following an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Clayton Wilcox seeks a big increase in county funding for the school system, with a focus on teacher pay and the district’s racial disparities.

Also this week, wheels are in motion in the South Carolina legislature to lure the Carolina Panthers headquarters across the state line. Lawmakers gave an initial okay for millions in tax breaks.

Those stories and more on this week’s Local News Roundup.

Guests

Mary C Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Jonathan Lowe, reporter for Spectrum News

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher of Q City Metro

When does partisan gerrymandering cross the line?

OPINION — “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats,” said Rep. David Lewis, a Republican member of the North Carolina general assembly’s redistricting committee. “So, I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

He added: “I propose that we draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats, because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”

If that is not quite a smoking gun, it’s definitely toasty to the touch.

Will quotes like that — transparently revealing the politics behind a policy that favors one party — be enough for the Supreme Court to meddle in the political maneuvering of partisan gerrymandering? This week’s hearings take on a North Carolina case and its mirror in Maryland, where Democrats are accused of skewing a district.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in NC Gerrymandering Case

CHARLOTTE, NC — Both Republicans and Democrats do it, that is, draw voting district maps that advantages their side when they have the power, in order to stay in power. But with data, research and computer mapping, it is more possible than ever for politicians to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. In cases from North Carolina and Maryland, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether the practice of partisan gerrymandering has gone too far

Brett Kavanaugh Isn’t Clarence Thomas, but It’s Still About Race

OPINION — Orrin G. Hatch, the Republican senator from Utah, is nothing if not consistent.

His words about distinguished lawyer and professor Anita Hill in 1991 — when she testified in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee on which he sat — were clear. He said there was “no question” in his mind that she was “coached” by special interest groups. “Her story’s too contrived. It’s so slick it doesn’t compute.” Hatch mused she may have cribbed some of her testimony from the novel “The Exorcist” — the horror!

And when considering current nominee Brett Kavanaugh — sitting, as Thomas was, on the verge of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court — Hatch had this to say about professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when she was 15 and he 17: “I think she’s mistaking something. But I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know her.”

Kavanaugh’s Accuser Wants FBI Investigation Before Testifying

CHARLOTTE, NC — The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault isn’t ready to testify just yet. Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team says their client won’t testify in a public hearing offered by Republicans unless the FBI first investigates her allegations. Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were at a high school party in the 80’s. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The allegations brought against Kavanaugh echo a similar incident in 1991, when Anita Hillaccused then SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and was called to publicly testify.

Opinion: Dems to African-American Women: This Time We Mean It

So why was Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, making an appearance at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, an event known for its high-powered mix of music, culture and empowerment, geared to engage black women globally? Did he see and enjoy “Girls Trip,” the 2017 mega-hit about the reunion of four black female buddies, set against the backdrop of the festival, and decide to get in on the fun, maybe take in a Janet Jackson concert?

Or was he connecting with his party’s most loyal base, which has carried the electoral load for years, and has also expressed dissatisfaction when that contribution was downplayed or overlooked?

A Contentious Fight over a Supreme Court Vacancy

If you thought it was going to be a slow summer in Washington, think again. When Justice Anthony Kennedy resigned, it meant the justice who was most considered a swing and unpredictable voter could be replaced with someone who leaned even more to the right. Democrats, who saw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stall President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, want to delay President Trump’s pick (the second vacancy he has filled) until after the midterms.

A simple majority vote is all that is needed in the Senate. A key to activity from the both parties could hinge on the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and whether its fate hangs in the court’s balance.

Supreme Court examines voting districts

CHARLOTTE, NC — States must draw new election maps every 10 years. Dozens of North Carolina legislative maps were thrown out over illegal gerrymandering because judges said they violated the rights of black voters. Federal judges will consider new maps October 12th. The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned lawyers in a similar redistricting case in Wisconsin.

What happened Tuesday at the court?

Will Supreme Court Redistricting Case Change Elections – and North Carolina?

Can redistricting ever be fair?

Is nonpartisan redistricting possible?

Roll Call Columnists on SCOTUS Abortion, McDonnell Decisions

Every presidential election, one side or other has tried, mostly in vain, to make appointments to the Supreme Court a major issue. With the present court’s rulings on controversial issues announced to a divided country — to reactions of shock and celebration, depending on which side you’re on — 2016 may be different.