MVA Monitor – May 19

This week House lawmakers continued to work on the budget and will likely bring it to the floor within the next two weeks.

In legal happenings, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider North Carolina’s voter ID case, and two craft breweries in Charlotte sued the state arguing that the legal framework restricting their growth is unconstitutional.

Mecklenburg County will celebrate “Meck Dec Day” tomorrow, paying homage to the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which was supposedly signed May 20, 1775, prior to the national Declaration of Independence.

Issue Insights

State and Legislative Issues

Voter ID 

  • On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a case involving provisions of North Carolina’s voter ID law.
  • The Court was careful to note that there were procedural issues that made it unclear who was and was not authorized to seek review and cautioned that its decision not to hear the case should be not be taken as a decision on the merits.
  • Based on the Supreme Court’s decision to not take up the case, the Court of Appeals ruling that numerous provisions of the state’s voter ID law are unconstitutional will stand.

Raleigh News & Observer: Supreme Court won’t rescue NC voter ID law; GOP leaders say they will try again with new law

LGBT Protections

  • While speaking to a conference of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Gov. Roy Cooper promised an executive order to expand protections for LGBT people.
  • To date, the Governor’s Office has not provided further information about what might be included in the order.
  • Gov. Cooper was criticized by advocates on both sides of the issue. Chris Sgro of Equality NC, an LGBT rights group, stated that the governor has failed to take responsibility for negative consequences resulting from the compromise bill that repealed HB 2. Tami Fitzgerald of the NC Values Coalition stated that the governor had “declared war” on privacy protections and was seeking special treatment of LGBT individuals at the expense of families.

WRAL: Cooper to extend LGBT protections

Craft Beer Lawsuit

  • Two Charlotte craft beer brewers sued the state this week, arguing that laws that limit their production are unconstitutional.
  • Olde Mecklenburg and NoDa breweries claim the state’s annual production cap and franchise law stifle competition, “thereby harming consumers by artificially inflating prices and reducing consumer choice,” according to documents filed in Wake County Superior Court.
  • The Charlotte brewers have spearheaded the Craft Freedom fight, a bid to raise the 25,000-barrel cap on production before craft brewers have to enter a distribution contract with a wholesaler.

Charlotte Observer: Angry Charlotte craft brewers take fight to court, alleging ‘cronyism’

Raise the Age

  • This week the House passed HB 280 that would allow 16 and 17 year olds to be tried as a juvenile for certain crimes.
  • North Carolina is the last state to automatically prosecute people as young as 16 as an adult.
  • The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

‘Raise The Age’ bill to keep teens out of adult court passes NC House 104-8

News Roundup