Yesterday, the NC House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the racial justice act, 64-52. The vote was on straight party lines. Four Republicans either didn't vote or were absent.
The act is a two-year old protection against discrimination in death penalty sentencing.
This one's a real low point for the House, which has been perceived as being lackluster in it's care for how its actions affect the disaffected, the poor, and minorities in NC (Voter ID, medicaid cuts, education cuts, limiting unsecured bonds, etc). This repeal is one of the most direct assaults and feels reminiscent of the early 1960s fights--fortunately without the overtly racist rhetoric (but not without racist overtones).
SB 9 now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. However, it was withdrawn from today's calendar and re-referred to committee. The way it got to the Senate was that the Senate passed a different bill, that was then gutted in the house and returned for concurrence vote (depriving the ability of the Senate to discuss it in a deliberative manner in committee). Apparently, the Senate is deciding that's a little too rough-shod, even for this assembly.
So it dies...for now.
Read press here.