ACLU Report Card Shows N.C. General Assembly Has Abysmal Record on Civil Liberties
RALEIGH – A legislative report card released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) shows that during its 2015-2016 session, the North Carolina General Assembly passed or considered a wide range of bills that diminished legal rights and civil liberties for many who call North Carolina home, especially LGBTQ people, women, immigrants, victims of police abuse, and criminal defendants.
The report card grades North Carolina House representatives on their votes on six bills introduced in the 2015-2016 session and members of the state Senate on eight. All were opposed by the ACLU-NC because of their negative impact on civil liberties.
Many of those measures were signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, including laws that
- Remove legal protections for and encourage discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly transgender men and women (HB2)
- Triple the mandatory waiting period for a woman who has decided to have an abortion to 72 hours, the longest waiting period in the country (HB465)
- Fuel anti-immigrant sentiments and make it harder for immigrants to identify themselves to government officials (HB318)
- Give law enforcement broad authority to keep body and dash camera footage from the public (HB972)
- Remove transparency and oversight from the administration of the death penalty in an effort to jump-start executions (HB774)
“Simply put, the General Assembly has had an abysmal record on civil liberties in recent years,” said ACLU-NC Policy Counsel Susanna Birdsong. “These recent bills, many of which became law, represent unprecedented attacks on civil liberties that have collectively restricted personal freedom, bodily autonomy, and equality under the law for countless North Carolinians.”
Forty-seven House representatives and 13 Senators scored 0% on the report card, voting to restrict civil liberties on each bill scored. Only 10 House members voted in line with the ACLU-NC 100% of the time. No senators voted in line with 100% of the ACLU-NC’s positions.