Judge rejects Republicans' "blanket immunity" claim

Sorry folks, but you're not above the law:

In March, Peake addressed attempts by lawmakers to quash subpoenas seeking email, correspondence and other documents exchanged while transforming the state’s voting process. In a court hearing earlier this year, attorneys for 13 Republican legislators tried to turn back efforts to get the correspondence released.

Their attorneys contended that the lawmakers were protected by legislative immunity and should be free from “arrest or civil process” related to their actions as General Assembly members. In his ruling on Thursday, Schroeder acknowledged that legislators, in general, do enjoy some immunity, but said that the courts have not addressed the scope of privilege when applied to documents in a civil case.

Any communications engaged in that concerned the creation of public policy should fall into the category of public records and, as such, shouldn't even require a court subpoena to be viewed. Republicans were trying to accomplish two things with this legal move: a) to avoid any repercussions involving their true motives behind the voter suppression laws, and b) to establish via precedent a new doctrine that would completely shield them from criminal and civil procedures going down the road. Their thirst for unchecked power is breathtaking, and voters need to schedule an "intervention" in November, before the GOP runs over any more pedestrians or crashes the state into a ditch.



But Peake left open the possibility for lawmakers to try to shield some of the information by arguing the correspondence is privileged attorney-client information that they say should be protected.

I wonder if this included conversations about the possibility of getting sued over what they were going to do or how the plan fit with Federal law on minority voting rights. If they were advised this wouldn't fly legally and went ahead with it anyway, that would be significant to the discussions on creating public policy.

Release the emails


"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014