Carolina Journal Radio

Legal implications of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on N.C. election law

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The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional North Carolina’s 2013 election law, featuring a voter ID requirement. The Appeals Court ruling ignored almost all elements of a trial-court judge’s 485-page decision upholding the law. Some observers have focused on the fact that the trial-court judge was appointed by a Republican president, while all three appellate judges owed their appointments to Democrats. Jon Guze, the John Locke Foundation’s director of legal studies, analyzes the Appeals Court’s decision and its legal implications. Libertarians and other liberty-minded thinkers often focus on individual rights and personal decisions. Michael Munger, professor of political science, economics, and public policy at Duke University, says they also should devote attention to how people make group decisions. Munger co-authored the 2015 book Choosing in Groups. It emphasizes the role of freely associating voluntary groups as an alternative to government coercion when it comes to making key decisions. The recent session of North Carolina’s General Assembly was especially short, as lawmakers left town before Independence Day. But Becki Gray, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for outreach, says that short session featured plenty of activity, including another balanced budget and additional tax and education reforms. Gray highlighted key achievements from the 2016 legislative session during a recent public presentation. The University of North Carolina system is turning to a Western neighbor for ideas about potential reforms. The UNC Board of Governors recently learned about reforms Phil Bredesen implemented for Tennessee’s public universities when he served as that state’s governor. You’ll hear highlights from Bredesen’s remarks, along with reaction and questions from BOG members. Aetna’s recent announcement that it will no longer participate in Obamacare health insurance exchanges nationwide means that residents of most North Carolina counties will face only one Affordable Care Act provider in the next year. Katherine Restrepo, the John Locke Foundation’s director of health care policy, reacts to Aetna’s decision and analyzes the potential impact for Obamacare’s future in North Carolina.