“”North Carolina: First in Flight, 48th in Education
|—Sign seen in Family Guy[note 1]|
North Carolina is one of the original thirteen British colonies that revolted and formed the United States in the late eighteenth century. They briefly tried to leave the Union about ninety years later, in an intramural disagreement over certain economic issues. But they was "fail". Later, it became the site of one of the few successful coups in U.S. history, when a group of white supremacists just couldn't handle blacks having a modicum of political representation.
Sad thing is that it's not a Red State by any measure, but most of its officials are overwhelmingly right of center, even the Dems. North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy according to an EIP Report.  North Carolina, the subject of a song by early 2000's rap artist Petey Pablo further sheds light on the political division and instigates a subtle call to action for the residents of the state to "Raise up, take their shirt off, spin it 'round their head like a helicopter." This is in reference to the totalitarian regime in Chile from 1974-1990, led by Augusto Pinochet, known for giving free helicopter rides to political adversaries.
Did you know that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson received a statue for his 80th birthday? Of course he did. For your grandpa’s 80th birthday, he received a cut in Medicaid benefits from Pat McCrory.
North Carolina has a section of its constitution banning atheists from holding public office but this appears unenforceable as it violates the United States Constitution, though the state has proven with the HB2 issue that they really don't give a shit about federal law. Atheist Cecil Bothwell has been elected to public office amid controversy.  
NC demographics are shifting as more and more Yankees relocate there to escape the horrors of the Northern Winter. In 2008, it even went for Barack Obama. In response, Art Pope and the Koch Brothers are doing whatever they can to convince as many progressives to leave as possible. In 2010, they elected a Republican majority to the state legislature for the first time in 100 years, and they've been busy: loosening concealed weapons laws, cutting federal unemployment in spite of having the fifth worth jobless rate in the U.S., banning Sharia law because you know how Al Qaida's been trying to take over the court system here, restricting abortions by sneaking it through the Senate like a thief in the night, and slashing education because Art Pope wants more Mexican kids out in the fields, among other things. Republicans in the General Assembly have threatened the separation of powers which is unprecedented historically. As the press likes to point out, the GOP is behaving as if it will never have to win another fair election. Democrats had many chances to prevent this from happening: They could have passed electoral reform but never did, and they were using gerrymandering for a long time to top off their majorities. (Although never to the extent that Republicans have. Computers allow for more powerful maps to be drawn now.)
He was a good mayor of Charlotte. But the power went to his head. Remember, McCrory signed HB2 without even reading it; that's how badly he wanted to get revenge on Charlotte and its elected officials.
In May 2012, North Carolina passed Amendment 1 61-39, banning same-sex marriage. This was overturned on October 10, 2014, when a federal court decision found the state's denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples unconstitutional. 
As North Carolina is temporally locked,[note 2] history regularly repeats itself there. Despite the defeat of Amendment 1, on the 23rd of March 2016, the North Carolina State Legislature signed House Bill 2 (HB2, which sounds like a cheezy designer drug), in response to the Charlotte City Council's so-called "bathroom bill", which allowed transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their gender. HB2, which prohibits any individual using a bathroom which does not match their designated sex at birth, municipal minimum-wage changes, and (best of all) filing discrimination lawsuits in state court. This is a significant blow for the proletariat as well as to the trans and intersex community in the area. Even the privilieged cis scum who voted for it are feeling it, as now you apparently have to significantly LOOK like your gender to avoid discrimination:
“”Linda Hovensky, a 54-year-old resident of Charlotte, was tased multiple times by police officers as she was forced outside of the ladies['] washroom with her pants down and in front of a large crowd.
Many people, corporate/social media entities and music industry puppets have taken up a boycott of the state, costing NC significant revenue as a result. HB2 has even provoked the wrath of—*gasp*—Beyoncé. Shit just got real.
As with Amendment 1, US DOJ notified NC that HB2 is unconstitutional, rendering it unenforceable, and gave the state legislature five days to respond (a very generous amount of time considering they passed this call for cruel and unusual punishment in less than 10 hours). Then the Republican House Speaker, Tim Moore, of the NC General Assembly, effectively told the DOJ where to shove it.[note 3] Cue Donald Trump inviting Tim Moore to his next rally.
And then the DOJ sued.
"Right to hunt"
In a 2018 constitutional referendum, the state also decided that laws protecting endangered species or ecosystems aren't a valid reason not to let people shoot whatever they want. Yee haw!
Despite its strict voter ID laws, North Carolina couldn't seem to prevent Republican Congressional candidate Mark Harris from almost stealing his election. Fortunately, someone caught him, and the state elections board was (as of Feb. 19 2019) debating whether to hold a new election. Even if Harris is declared the winner (unlikely), the Democratic-controlled House could still decline to seat him. Later in February the state announced a new election to be held at an undetermined date; Harris himself does not intend to run in this one.
State Supreme Court Drama
Over the past few years, Republican have attempted to rig the North Carolina Supreme Court in their favor, but have failed spectacularly. This saga represents a hopeful story of democratic institutions failing to give way to an increasingly authoritarian party, as well as a demonstration of just how absurd North Carolina politics have become under Republican governance.
As in many states, the 7 justices on the North Carolina Supreme Court are selected through statewide election. When a seat becomes vacant, the governor can appoint someone to serve out the original justice’s remaining term, but that new justice must stand for election when the term ends. Beginning in 2004, Supreme Court justices had to be officially nonpartisan, though it was usually possible to tell whether a justice was conservative or liberal based on their stated views, political affiliations, and other cues.
In 2015, there was a 4 to 3 conservative majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court. One of these conservative judges, Robert Edmunds, was up for reelection the following year. Hoping to protect their judicial majority, Republicans in the state legislature passed a bill that would change the election process for Supreme Court justices. Instead of running against others candidates, justices would have “retention” elections, in which voters would simply say “yes” or “no” to reelecting the justice— if more than 50% of voters said “yes,” a justice could retain their seat without ever having to face another candidate. This bill was signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory but promptly struck down as unconstitutional by the Wake County Superior Court. Republicans appealed this ruling to the North Carolina Supreme Court, where Justice Edmunds had to recuse himself because he would be personally affected by the decision. The remaining justices split 3 to 3 along party lines, meaning the Superior Court ruling stood, so the original system of electing judges stood.
Realizing that undecided voters tend to pick the candidate whose name appears first on the ballot, North Carolina Republicans created a new set of rules that would allow Republican candidates’ names to appear at the top of each position being voted on. Because judicial elections were nonpartisan, these rules did not apply to them. As a result, when Robert Edmunds was up for reelection in 2016, the name of his liberal opponent, Michael Morgan, appeared above his own name. Large numbers of Republican voters seem to have voted for Morgan by mistake, apparently thinking he was a Republican because his name appeared first. As a result, Morgan won the election, creating a 4 to 3 liberal majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Stung by Edmunds’s loss, Republicans decided to restore partisanship to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Outgoing governor Pat McCrory, who himself lost reelection to Democrat Roy Cooper, signed a lame duck bill reestablishing partisan elections and party affiliation for Supreme Court justices and other state judges.
Purging the Primaries
Another conservative justice, Barbara Jackson, was up for election as part of the 2018 midterms. When it became clear that Democrats would have an advantage in those midterms, Republicans in the state legislature passed a law eliminating primaries for judicial elections. They believed that multiple Democrats would run and drain votes from one another, allowing Jackson to be reelected with a plurality. Instead, only one Democrat, Anita Earls, ran as a Democrat. Another Democrat, Chris Anglin, switched his party affiliation to “Republican” and ran so as to drain votes from Barbara Jackson. Earls ended up winning the election with a plurality of 49% of the vote, giving Democrats a 5 to 2 majority on the Supreme Court.
Packing the Court
In addition to reinstating partisanship and eliminating primaries, Republicans also attempted to change the manner by which vacant judicial seats were filled. Not wanting Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to fill vacancies, the GOP proposed a new method that would let the Republican-controlled state legislature dominate the process. This proposal had to be approved by referendum in November of 2018. Voters ended up rejecting it by a 2 to 1 margin, so Governor Cooper retained the power to fill judicial vacancies.
An Inconvenient Retirement
In January of 2019, Chief Justice Mark Martin announced that he would be retiring from the North Carolina Supreme Court. This left Governor Cooper free to choose his successor. Cooper chose Cheri Beasley, already a justice on the court, to serve as Chief Justice; this made Beasley the first black woman to serve as Chief Justice of North Carolina's highest court. Cooper has not yet chosen a new associate justice to fill Beasley’s position, but is widely expected to pick a Democrat. Once he does this, Democrats will have a 6 to 1 majority on the court.
The saga of the North Carolina Supreme Court showed us that karma is alive and well in modern politics. Republicans attempted to rig the court, and that attempt blew up in their faces. Republicans briefly held only 1 of the court’s 7 seats, giving them little influence over the most critical questions of state law. In the mean time, as Democrats sought to defend voting rights, oppose gerrymandering, and pursue progressive policies, they could count on the support of the highest court.
(Some of these are not like the others.)
- Billy Graham
- Jesse Helms
- Michael Jordan
- John Coltrane
- Tar Heels
- Quackwatch (after years in Pennsylvania)
- Lung Cancer
- Endless corporate ventures
- $3.76 billion in state revenue, and up to 2700 jobs
- Dale Earnhardt (Sr. & Jr.)
- Petey Pablo
- Unknown Hinson
- The Somewhat Less Racist, Slightly More Transphobic, Carolina.
- If the Gerry-Mander Cartoon From 200 years Ago Was A State.
- They're apparently up to 46th now, but that's really just splitting hairs.
- stuck in the past
- Looks like Unbreakable Kimmy D found her fifth husband.
- Reynolds, Andrew, "North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy", Charlotte News & Observer (updated 31 December 2016, 9:45 AM).
- Bonner, Lynn,"North Carolina to privatize Medicaid", New Observer (Updated 18 September 2015, 1:14 PM).
- North Carolina constitution See article VI section 8.
- Councilman under fire for atheism
- Critics of Cecil Bothwell cite N.C. bar to atheists
- Mayer, Jane, "State for Sale", New Yorker October 10, 2011 issue.
- Bennett, Abbie, "41 percent of NC towns are declining in population. The worst are in the northeast.", News & Observer (Updated 6 July 2017, 11:06 AM).
- Roers, Kevin J., "North Carolina’s unemployment experiment is a failure", Charlotte Observer (updated 25 February 2016, 11:39 AM).
- Olheiser, Abby, "North Carolina's Anti-Sharia Bill Is Now Also Anti-Abortion", Atlantic 2 July 2013.
- "Letter to the Editor: Art Pope's racist history with UNC", Daily Tar Heel (1 October 2017, 11:26PM).
- Graham, David A., "Court Strikes Down GOP Attempt to Control Elections Board", Slate (26 January 2018, 6:27 PM). There go them activist judges again.
- Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Permit Race as a Factor in Redistricting", NYT 19 April 2001.
- Spanberg, Erik, "Liberal group has yet to hurt McCrory's popularity", Charlotte Business Journal (updated 12 Mar 2015, 3:16pm).
- Morrill, Jill, "Pat McCrory campaign targets Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts over HB2", Charlotte Observer (Updated 26 April 2016, 7:05 PM).
- Harrison, Steve, "After comment to Gov. McCrory, Reid’s cook fired", Charlotte Observer (Updated 17 February 2014, 6:04 PM).
- Rothacker, Rick, "Two days after signing HB2, Gov. McCrory was still receiving information on the bill", The News & Observer (22 November 2016, 09:29 PM).
- Huffington post Amendment One, North Carolina Gay Marriage Ban, Passes Vote
- North Carolina Supreme Court elections, 2020. Ballotpedia.
- https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2022/11/city-nc-supreme-court-2022-election-results Two Republicans win seats on the NC Supreme Court, flipping majority. The Daily Tar Heel. 9 November 2022.