ALLEGATIONS SURFACE THAT PREGNANT NC INMATES REMAIN SHACKLED DURING CHILDBIRTH: SisterSong, which focuses on reproductive rights for women of color, said it reached out to the department Jan. 22 after someone from a local medical facility contacted them and said two prisoners were shackled despite medical staff asking that the shackles be removed. "Active labor" is one of a few exceptions to the prison system's restraint policies, which generally require inmates be restrained while outside a correctional facility or a secure transport vehicle. The policy also says new mothers "shall be restrained after birth of the child and the medical authorities have completed their work," but also that she "shall not have her hands restrained while bonding and feeding the baby." "The handcuffs will be removed from an inmate who has recently given birth in order for the inmate to hold her newborn child," the policy states. "The inmate must remain sitting in her bed or chair while holding the newborn child. Leg irons will remain on the inmate."
JUDGES OFFER NO RELIEF FROM GERRYMANDERED WAKE/MECKLENBURG MAPS: A panel of judges rejected a request from Democrats and voters who filed the first lawsuit this decade challenging North Carolina lawmakers’ redistricting plans to provide relief from election districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties they contend are unconstitutional. The decision came on Monday hours before candidates were set to begin filing for office. Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said the challengers are considering next steps. “We are reviewing what the next steps are for the plaintiffs in the case who have been seeking justice since 2011 and still have not found it,” Riggs said in a statement. “We are concerned by the precedent set in today’s order. When a plan is found to be unconstitutional, it’s only right for the court to review the remedy enacted to make sure that it is legal and fair.”
NC REPUBLICANS FLOAT TWO NEW JUDICIAL REDISTRICTING MAPS TO GIVE FALSE APPEARANCE OF CHOICE: Two new proposed sets of electoral maps for North Carolina trial court judgeships and for district attorneys have been released by a General Assembly committee as Republicans keep seeking consensus on judicial redistricting. There are now three groups of map options unveiled since the House and Senate formed a committee last month to consider new judicial election districts and possibly a new method to elect judges. Two of the three were posted online last week. Committee co-chairman Rep. David Lewis
of Dunn said Monday the options were released to show how proposals have evolved and to get feedback. The legislature is supposed to adjourn Tuesday until May. Lewis said it's possible they could return earlier if a redistricting deal is struck. Democrats have been largely opposed to wholesale map changes.
CASE DISMISSED AGAINST TRUMP'S GUN-BRANDISHING NC CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR: Until August 2016, Earl Phillipwas Donald Trump’s North Carolina campaign director. Then a former staffer sued, claiming Phillip had pulled a gun on him and top campaign officials refused to do anything about it. This month the suit was dismissed. “Mr. Phillip and I have resolved our differences without the need for any compensation,” Bordini said in the statement. “I do not blame Mr. Phillip for anything. I wish Mr. Phillip well in his future endeavors and hope he can continue his promising career for the Republican cause.” In the suit, Bordini had claimed that he was riding in a Jeep with Phillip in 2016 when Phillip pulled out a loaded .45 caliber pistol and placed the barrel on Bordini’s knee cap.
TRUMP DREAMER "FIX" HAS TOO MANY POISON PILLS FOR DEMOCRATS TO STOMACH: n a tweet Tuesday, Trump asserts that Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections to young “Dreamer” immigrants in the U.S. illegally. He writes: “This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.” Trump was referring to a deadline after which he has said a program protecting young immigrants from deportation would end. In fact, a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline meaningless. The Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders say it’s going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy. In addition to protections for “Dreamers,” Trump also wants $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration. Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the U.S., to be non-starters.