Wednesday News: Unconstitutional x2


3-JUDGE PANEL RULES AGAINST REPUBLICAN CHANGES TO BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The government board that oversees elections in North Carolina is unconstitutional, a panel of judges ruled on Tuesday — just weeks before Election Day in the 2018 midterms, and only a day before the start of early voting throughout the state. However, the judges recognized the timing and ruled that the N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement can continue operating as-is, until after the elections are over and the votes are counted. The laws struck down as unconstitutional were put in place by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2017 and 2018 and limited the authority of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The laws were passed to replace previous legislation passed in December 2016, a month after Cooper won the election, that was also struck down as unconstitutional.

GREENVILLE'S MAYOR IS CONCERNED AFTER AN APPARENT SPIKE IN VIOLENCE: The mayor of a North Carolina city is calling for stronger security after two deaths in the downtown area in little more than a month. News outlets report Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly says there will be increased police presence, a review of city ordinances dealing with downtown nightlife and additional public safety measures which he declined to identify. Authorities say 22-year-old Raekwon Moore of Winterville was stabbed to death last Saturday after he and another person got out of an SUV and started assaulting two people. Police say one of the people being attacked stabbed Moore. On Sept. 9, officers shot and killed 24-year-old Brandon Joyner in an alley after police said he was shooting into a crowd of people. The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident.

CARRBORO STRUGGLES WITH NAME-CHANGE IN WAKE OF SILENT SAM CONTROVERSY: Carrboro can’t easily change its name, but can the name honor a civil rights activist or a different Carr? Mayor Lydia Lavelle and former Mayor Mark Chilton considered that idea Monday when asked whether the town’s name should no longer reflect its namesake, Julian S. Carr. The state would have to approve a significant name change, Chilton noted. “You change it to something besides Carrboro, you’re really asking to be interfered with by the state legislature, and it won’t be for the best,” he said. Over 40 people showed up for that discussion and to hear more about the town’s history at a Mayors Roundtable featuring Lavelle and five former mayors. The event was held in conjunction with National Planning Month, Lavelle said.

TRUMP SHIRKS RESPONSIBILITY AHEAD OF TIME FOR ANY ELECTION LOSSES THAT MAY OCCUR: Facing the prospect of bruising electoral defeat in congressional elections, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he won't accept the blame if his party loses control of the House in November, arguing his campaigning and endorsements have helped Republican candidates. In a wide-ranging interview three weeks before Election Day, Trump told The Associated Press he senses voter enthusiasm rivaling 2016 and he expressed cautious optimism that his most loyal supporters will vote even when he is not on the ballot. He dismissed suggestions that he might take responsibility, as his predecessor did, for midterm losses or view the outcome as a referendum on his presidency. "No, I think I'm helping people," Trump said. "I don't believe anybody's ever had this kind of an impact."

JUDGE RULES AGAINST BETSY DEVOS IN STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS CASE: Students defrauded by for-profit colleges scored an important victory on Tuesday, when a court cleared the way for an Obama-era policy that will make it easier for them to get their student loans forgiven. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had said the regulation, known as borrower defense, made discharging loans too easy and was unfair to taxpayers. The rule was due to take effect in July 2017, but DeVos froze it while she worked on devising a new regulation. But U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ruled last month that DeVos’ delay was unlawful. On Tuesday, he denied a request by an organization representing for-profit colleges in California, to further postpone the rule, thus paving the way for borrower defense to enter into force. “The rule is finally in effect. No more excuses. No more delays,” said Julie Murray, an attorney with Public Citizen, who is representing the defrauded students in their suit against DeVos.