The Morning Roundup: Voting Rights Are Back, A Harvard Education Is Bad, and So Much More | News
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Voting Rights Are Back, A Harvard Education Is Bad, and So Much More

Posted by on Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge voting.jpg

Gooooood morning folks. Here's a sampling of some of today's top headlines to get your day started on the right foot. 

1. Let's start off with some good news: Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected Governor McCrory's appeal for a stay in the voter ID case! Thanks to a 4–4 split—which meant the court deferred to the lower appeals court—voters will not have to show a photo ID at the polls and the seventeen-day early voting period is here to stay. 

Let's throw it on over to WRAL

Only one justice, conservative Clarence Thomas, would have granted a full stay. Three justices, including Roberts, said they would have granted a partial stay. That left the court split 4-4, as the U.S. Senate has yet to confirm a replacement for deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.

The three-paragraph order does not impact directly on the case's future course, but it could presage any future rulings. The Supreme Court could still take the matter up at a later time if McCrory or other defendants formally appeal. However, given the current 4-4 split, a lot would ride on who is appointed to replace Scalia. President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, whose nomination has been stalled. If that status quo remains through January, it would leave the choice in the hands of the winner of this year's presidential contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
Oh, and don't forget, this means same-day voter registration is back, too. 

click image Screenshot from the new Carolinians for Freedom website.
  • Screenshot from the new Carolinians for Freedom website.
2. Apparently going to Harvard is a bad thing now. Or at least Carolinians for Freedom think so. Attorney general candidate Josh Stein became the recent target of some interesting (and well-annotated) criticism, featured on the new website (and I could not possibly make this up) www.extremeharvardradical.com.  

Here's what Carolinians for Freedom had to say about Stein's education: 
Extreme Harvard Radical Josh Stein wants to bring his Harvard values to North Carolina. After leaving Harvard, Stein came to North Carolina to be the top advisor for disgraced former Senator John Edwards. Then, as a member of the State Senate, Stein voted to raise our taxes. He even advocated for crazy ideas like banning grocery bags. Josh Stein’s ideas might work in Massachusetts, but North Carolinians know what really matters: jobs and a better economic future. Josh Stein is the wrong choice for North Carolina.
And if you haven't already clicked that link, you probably should. 

3. Granted a new trial after spending twenty-one years in prison, Darryl Howard was able to hug his wife as a free man yesterday. It seemed that Howard's trial was going to be overshadowed by a possible appearance from disbarred and disgraced former Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong, but in the end, the focus was once again on Howard. 

The fifty-four-year-old was accused of a double murder in 1991 and convicted in 1995. And this week, during a three-day hearing, two attorneys with the Innocence Project and a Charlotte-based lawyer led Howard's defense and were able to secure him a new trial. 

The News & Observer has a good rundown of the hearing

As the Howards and their friends and family celebrated, [Barry] Scheck and [Jim] Cooney [Howard's attorneys] talked about some of the problems and changes in the justice system highlighted by their case.

“Thank God this wasn’t a capital case,” Scheck said, raising concerns about the death penalty and the wrongfully convicted sentenced to capital punishment.

Had there not been advancement in DNA testing and had Durham police not videotaped an interview with [suspect Jermeck] Jones in 2011 – evidence that was not turned over to the defense team for five years – Howard would not have had as much evidence to present a narrative very different from the one that ended up in his conviction before Judge Hudson.

The district attorney's office isn't planning to appeal the decision. 

4. A proposed eight-story building could replace dive bars in Chapel Hill. Yes, you read that right. Two bars—Bub O'Malley's and Country Fried Duck—at 157 East Rosemary Street, could become retail, office, and residential space. No decision has been made, but Chapel Hill's Community Design Commission will take a stab at it September 27. 

The N&O has the details

The building, if approved, would be the tallest structure on East Rosemary Street. The plan notes it could “set the stage for future developments” on East Rosemary Street and suggests a design that reflects university and surrounding buildings:

▪ Brick at lower levels with arched openings similar to the Wallace deck

▪ Horizontal divisions and rooftop brackets similar to Franklin Street buildings

▪ Stepped-back upper levels in a lighter material, such as stucco

▪ Circular windows at various points, with Carolina Blue illumination on special occasions

Carolina Blue illumination. Of course. 

5. There's a storm brewing, and it's named Hermine? Yes, Hermine, and it could potentially hit North Carolina on Friday or Saturday, according to WRAL. 

Have a good first day of September, everybody! (God, it’s already September?)

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