Republicans Provide Health Care for Child Molesters while Cutting Benefits for Wounded Veteran Moms

by johndavis, May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014        Vol. VII, No. 13          4:13 pm   North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, one of the three Democrats on the “non-partisan” seven-member court, is likely to win her race this fall against Republican Eric Levinson, a Mecklenburg Superior Court judge, thereby earning a third term on the state’s highest court, all
[More…]

May 14, 2014        Vol. VII, No. 13          4:13 pm

 

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, one of the three Democrats on the “non-partisan” seven-member court, is likely to win her race this fall against Republican Eric Levinson, a Mecklenburg Superior Court judge, thereby earning a third term on the state’s highest court, all thanks to an ill-conceived primary TV ad accusing her of being soft on child molesters.

The Republican ad was ill-conceived for two reasons. One, voters who participate in midterm primary elections are older and wiser; wise to the wily ways of political TV ad consultants. For emphasis: They are the least likely voters to be duped. Two, the allegation that Justice Hudson is soft on child molesters is so far outside the boundaries of believability that it backfired.

Any political ad that fails the believability test, especially with a highly offensive allegation, insults the intelligence and sense of propriety of voters and is likely to backfire. And backfire it did. It was so offensive that it united and motivated the Hudson base to turn out in higher numbers. It also motivated many to vote for Hudson who otherwise would not have voted in that race.

A Republican-backed group, the Washington DC-based Republican State Leadership Committee, ran the TV attack ad saying that NC Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, a Democrat, was “Not tough on child molesters. Not fair to victims.” Over $1 million was spent on this one Supreme Court race; $650,000 against Hudson by the Republican State Leadership Committee.

Justice Hudson’s dissent a constitutional issue in a 4-3 Supreme Court decision

 The accusation that Justice Hudson was “Not tough on child molesters. Not fair to victims,” was based on a dissenting opinion she wrote in a 4-3 North Carolina Supreme Court decision in a 2010 case named State v. Bowditch. Here are the key legal points in Hudson’s dissent:

  • A new law requiring satellite monitoring of convicted felons, including those who have done their time, is in effect “punitive” rather than “regulatory”
  • Because it is “punitive,” it violates state and federal constitutional Ex Post Facto Clauses which prohibit adding punishment that did not exist at the time of the crime

In other words, it was a constitutional issue. And, it was a 4-3 split decision in which Hudson’s dissent was joined by Chief Justice Sarah Parker. Is Chief Justice Sarah Parker “Not tough on child molesters? Not fair to victims?” The 4-3 majority reversed a Superior Court ruling. Was the Superior Court judge in this case “Not tough on child molesters? Not fair to victims?”

This case was about applying a new law retroactively to criminals convicted before the law was enacted. The fact that the criminals in the case were child molesters does not change the unconstitutionality of retroactive application of new laws deemed “punitive.”

Republicans soft on molesters while neglecting wounded veteran moms

 Using the Republican State Leadership Committee's justification for the Hudson attack ad, Republicans lawmakers were “Not tough on child molesters. Not fair to victims,” when they passed a state budget last year that included the cost of health care for prisoners in North Carolina, some of whom are child molesters.

When Republicans cut funding for long-term unemployment insurance last November, some of those impacted were wounded female veterans with children. Would it be fair to run a TV ad against Republican lawmakers this fall attacking them for giving health care to child molesters while cutting benefits for wounded female veterans?

When the votes are tallied this November, the partisan balance of the court will be at least 4-3 Republican, and the Chief Justice’s seat will likely be filled by Republican Justice Mark Martin. (It may be a 5-2 Republican court if Republican Appeals Court Judge Robert N. Hunter defeats Democrat Appeals Court Judge Sam Ervin, IV in the race for Justice Martin’s seat.)

So, Republicans need not worry. What Republicans do need to worry about is giving their money to organizations like the Republican State Leadership Committee.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, one of the three Democrats on the “non-partisan” seven-member court, is likely to win her race this fall against Republican Eric Levinson, a Mecklenburg Superior Court judge, thereby earning a third term on the state’s highest court, all thanks to an ill-conceived primary TV ad accusing her of being soft on child molesters.

With friends like the Washington DC-based Republican State Leadership Committee, North Carolina Republicans do not need enemies.

- End -

Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report

 JND Signature

John N. Davis, Editor

 

Comments are closed.