NCDP Clips for Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Good Tuesday Morning… The Supreme Court of the United States takes up the legality of California’s Prop-8 today. In NC, General Assembly Republicans are making moves against local government in Wake, Mecklenburg, and Buncombe Counties. Tuesday’s Clips:


THE WASHINGTON POST – A historic moment as same-sex marriage arrives before Supreme Court
A four-year legal battle to extend the right of marriage to same-sex couples no matter where they live gets its moment before the Supreme Court on Tuesday in historic oral arguments difficult to imagine even a decade ago.

The first of two days of oral arguments over what supporters call marriage equality brings the boldest of the claims that gay rights activists will make — that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage that states may not deny.

THE NEW YORK TIMES – A Sea Change in Less Than 50 Years as Gay Rights Gained Momentum
The struggle for African-Americans’ rights, symbolized by the bloody 1965 Selma march, is as old as the nation. The effort for American women’s rights began at Seneca Falls, N.Y., more than 150 years ago.


NEWS & OBSERVER – Supporters of Dix park appeal to Wake lawmakers
Supporters of the Dorothea Dix park plans turned out in droves Monday afternoon to oppose Republican legislators’ efforts to revoke the city’s lease on the prime real estate near downtown.
About 300 people packed a hearing before Wake County’s legislative delegation, with others forced to listen from the hallway. Sen. Josh Stein, a Raleigh Democrat, called the crowd “unprecedented.”

WRAL – Parents want Wake school buildings to remain under board’s control
The Wake County legislative delegation got an earful Monday afternoon from concerned parents and former Board of Education members over legislation that would change how the school board operates.
Filed by Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, Senate Bill 236 would give ownership and control of Wake County school buildings to the Wake County Board of Commissioners.


CHARLOTTE OBSERVER – N.C. treasurer: Airport authority raises legal issues
Transferring Charlotte’s airport to an authority would raise thorny legal issues involving airport debt and could even affect the cost of state borrowing, the North Carolina Treasurer’s office said Monday.
Deputy Treasurer T. Vance Holloman said legal uncertainty over the airport’s $860 million debt “could result in potential prolonged litigation.”


WRAL – Asheville water bill heads to House Finance Tuesday
House Finance will hear a proposal Tuesday to repeal a law allowing Asheville to use some water revenue for road and other infrastructure repairs related to its water system.
H252, sponsored by Rep.Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, would reverse a 2009 law that amended the Sullivan Acts to allow the city to use 5 percent of its water revenues for infrastructure related to water repairs, like fixing torn-up streets and sidewalks.


NEWS & OBSERVER – Guard the jewel: Go slow on downsizing the UNC system
It appears that Hodding Carter III is channeling the late William Friday. Friday, a mentor to Carter, was the founding president of what is now the University of North Carolina system and a strong, respected leader and defender of the university system.

Responding to reports that Republican legislators are thinking about “downsizing” the UNC system, perhaps closing one or two campuses, Carter, a former assistant secretary of state and now a UNC-Chapel Hill professor, decided not to hold back. “These guys are intent on going to war against the public university system in this state,” he said. “Standing on the sidelines is not for anyone who cares about higher education.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES – A 50-State Ruling
California’s Proposition 8 rewrote the state’s Constitution so that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, for purposes of any federal law, defined the word marriage to mean “only a legal union between one man and one woman.”

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on challenges to Proposition 8 on Tuesday and Defense of Marriage on Wednesday. In both cases, the court should rule that the Constitution prohibits the federal government and every state from defining the fundamental right of marriage so narrowly and fully protects the liberty of same-sex couples.


Clay Pittman
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman