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Hagan asks Holder to review new NC voter law

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan Tuesday sent a letter to U..S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to review the voting bill signed into law by Republican Gov Pat McCrory.

"I am deeply concerned that H.S. 589 will restrict the ability of minorities, seniors, students and disabled and low and middle incomes citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Hagan wrote. "I strongly encourage the Justice Department to immediately review House Bill 589 and take all appropriate steps to protect federal civil rights and the fundamental right to vote.''

She said called the law one of the most restrictive in the country, requiring not only a photo ID to vote, but reducing early voting by a week, eliminating pre-registration of high schoolers, ending same-day registration, restricting the ability to vote by provisional ballot.

Butterfield asks Holder to challenge NC election law

Rep. G.K. Butterfield reacted to the news that Gov. Pat McCrory had signed a bill changing North Carolina's election laws by sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to use all available options to challenge the law.

In a statement the Democrat from Wilson said "With one stroke of his pen, McCrory has effectively reversed 30 years of progress and reinstated practices similar to the discriminatory ‘Southern strategy’ adopted by the Republican party in the 60s and 70s. Without question, today is a shameful day for Republicans in North Carolina.”

Common Cause asks Eric Holder to step in to N.C. voting rights controversy

Common Cause on Tuesday called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek a court order overturning the voting laws the General Assembly approved last week, and requiring the Justice Department approve future election law changes in advance.

The request follows Holder's announcement on Thursday that his department has filed a federal court challenge to force Texas to obtain advance approval before implementing future changes to its elections laws. Holder said that wouldn't be the end of it -- that nearly two dozen new voting laws passed last year in a dozen states impeded voters from casting ballots.

“The attorney general’s strong response to a new Texas law imposing discriminatory Voter ID requirements has put states on notice that the administration intends to continue enforcing the Voting Rights Act,” said Arn Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation. “Mr. Holder needs to back up those words with action in North Carolina as well.”

Pearson said the restrictions North Carolina's legislators approved are just the sort of measures the Voting Rights Act was enacted to prevent.

Gov. Pat McCrory has not yet signed the legislation into law.

Morning Memo: House goes into OT, GOP pushes major bills in final moments

OVERTIME AT THE STATEHOUSE: What day is it again? The legislation continues its Friday session later this morning -- the one it started at 12:01 a.m. “Good morning, everybody,” House Speaker Thom Tillis said as he gavel in a new legislative day. The 9 a.m. session is one more than expected but House lawmakers didn’t want to stay past 1 a.m. to finish their work like the Senate, expecting lengthy debates. The House session is expected to last a couple hours. On the calendar: the “technical corrections” state budget bill that includes $2 million for the governor’s office to spend on innovative education programs -- a last-minute request from State Budget Director Art Pope’s office, budget writers said. Also: a final vote on a sweeping regulatory overhaul measure.

The big item left unfinished: Gov. Pat McCrory’s commerce bill. The fracking language added to the reorganization measure in conference doomed its chances in the house. (Special session, anyone?)

LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDS WITH A FLURRY OF ACTION: Abortion. Voter ID. Massive changes to state regulations. Charlotte airport. It’s all headed to Gov. Pat McCrory. If you went to bed too soon, read it all below in the ***Dome Morning Memo.*** Along with Tillis campaign news.

Jones calls for Holder's resignation

Republican Rep. Walter Jones of Farmville is calling for the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder because of his role in Operation Fast and Furious.

Jones joins 35 members of congressmen to call for Holder's ouster, although he is the first member of the North Carolina delegation to do so.

“Since the Attorney General seems unable to be honest with the American people, it is time for him to do,” Jones said in a statement. “Mr. Holder's tenure has been marked by troubling decisions, but in the case of Fast and Furious, it is appears that under his watch the lack of judgment a the Justice Department may have cost people their lives.”

Fast and Furious involved a string operation run by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives  in which they let as many 2,000 guns be sold across the border to criminal organizations in Mexico in an effort to nab big fish. Some of the guns were used commit crimes in Mexico.

In May, Holder told a congressional committee investigating the case that he had only learned of the operation in recent weeks. But CBS subsequently reported that Holder had been sent briefing on the operation as early as July 2010.


Holder to address trial lawyers event

Attorney General Eric Holder will be in Wilmington Saturday morning to speak to the annual convention of the N.C. Advocates for Justice.

Holder will speak at the five-day convention that is being held at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside, Rob Christensen reports.

“Eric Holder can address the issues facing our judicial system as well as anyone in the country, from indigent defense to the prosecution of enemy combatants,” said Dick Taylor, the CEO of the trial lawyers group.

Duke law prof confirmed to Justice Dept. post

Duke law Professor Christopher Schroeder is the new assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy.

The Senate confirmed Schroeder, 72 to 24, on Wednesday and Attorney General Eric Holder welcomed him back to the department.

"The Office of Legal Policy serves a crucial role at the department in coordinating some of our most important projects and initiatives," Holder said in a prepared statement.

Schroeder, who most recently headed Duke's program in public law, served as acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration. He also served as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dome alum David Ingram has more deets at Legal Times.

Holder to headline lawyers conference

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is lined up to speak to the N.C. Advocates for Justice, the heroic-sounding alias for the state's trial lawyers, at their convention in Wilmington in June.

Holder is the luncheon speaker on Saturday, June 19, the second of a six-day convention that includes a variety of workshops, continuing legal education and fun outings, including the "Haunted Pub Crawl," that Dome guesses may be linked to a DWI law class.

The event's keynote speaker is Bryan Stevenson, who heads the Equal Justice Initiative, in Montgomery, Ala., who has led efforts that have overturned dozens of death sentences involving low income and minority defendants.  

Hagan talks to Holder about Holding

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan re-emphasized to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a phone call this week that she wants current federal investigations into public corruption in North Carolina completed.

Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, has told the White House that she wants U.S. Attorney George Holding, who represents North Carolina’s eastern district, to complete his probes of former Gov. Mike Easley and two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, reports Barb Barrett. Easley and Edwards are Democrats.

Holding is a Bush appointee, and now is up for replacement with President Barack Obama’s nomination last week of Charlotte lawyer Thomas Walker.

Although Hagan recommended Walker, she also has said she wants Holding to finish his work. She reiterated that Monday in a brief phone call with Holder, who oversees U.S. attorneys.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said Holder offered his assurances to Hagan.

"The attorney general assured the senator that the Justice Department handles investigations based solely on their merit and without regard to the political affiliation of the U.S. attorney," Schwartz said.

Hagan has not decided yet how to handle the “blue slip” that home-state senators receive from the Senate Judiciary Committee on U.S. attorney nominees, according to her office. She could decide to either delay returning the blue slip or not return it at all.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, plans to return the blue slip and move ahead with the nomination process.

Burr 'disappointed' in Holder

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr told Attorney General Eric Holder that he is disappointed by the decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate potential CIA abuses in interrogating terrorism suspects.

Burr was one of nine Republican senators who sent a letter Monday to Holder questioning the decision, reports Barb Barrett. Holder made the appointment shortly after the release of an inspector general’s report from the Central Intelligence Agency. It reported that many interrogators appeared to go beyond the approved tactics in questioning suspects.

Last week, Burr and the other senators had warned Holder that such an investigation could threaten America’s security against future terrorist attacks and hurt the careers and reputations of interrogators.

They hinted Monday of the same threats.

"We fear that the true cost of this endeavor will be borne by the American people, who rely on the intelligence community, operating without distraction, to protect them from the many threats, known and unkonown, that our country faces in this post-9/11 world," they wrote.

Letters to Holder.pdf
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