On September 10 and 11, 2016, Center staff attorney Elizabeth Haddix joined residents from Sampson, Duplin, Bladen and Pender counties who suffer the impacts from industrial pork and poultry operations concentrated in their communities at a national summit hosted by the Oneida Nation in Green Bay, WI entitled “Factory Farm Summit: Demanding Accountability in Agriculture.” The summit, which brought together farmers, residents, researchers and advocates from across the country, was organized by the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP), which works throughout the U.S. helping communities protect themselves from the negative impacts of factory farms, officially called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
Read More... (Center clients participate in Factory Farm Summit, Green Bay, WI)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 16, 2016 2:11 PM
Categories: Environmental Justice
On February 16, 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion
in the consolidated appeals of three victims of the state’s more than forty-year forced sterilization eugenics program. Those appeals challenged as unconstitutional the Eugenics Compensation Act’s requirement that a victim be alive on June 30, 2013, to be eligible for compensation. Compensation was meant to be “restitution” for the injustices suffered under the state’s eugenics policy, which left more than 7,600 people — disproportionately non-white women — unable to conceive or bear children. The appellants, through their counsel at the Center for Civil Rights and pro bono lawyer Ed Pressley of Statesville, argued that the State had no legitimate basis to deny restitution to a victim’s heirs because the victim died before June 30, 2013 while granting it to heirs of a victim alive on that day.
Read More... (NC Court of Appeals Rules in Eugenics Cases)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Wed. February 17, 2016 1:00 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Sterilization
As discussed in an earlier post, the Center represents heirs of just a few of the thousands of victims of North Carolina's Eugenics policy in three appeals challenging the Eugenics Compensation Program's arbitrary exclusion of victims who died before June 30, 2013. These appeals all challenge the "living victim threshold" as a violation of equal protection under our state constitution. The Center is co-counseling on two of the cases with pro bono counsel Ed Pressly of Pressly, Thomas & Conley, PA of Statesville, NC. Ed Pressly recently submitted a new brief () to the NC Court of Appeals regarding the exclusion of a victim who died prior to 2013.
Read More... (A New Brief Filed in Eugenics Appeal Cases)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 25, 2015 12:09 PM
In September 2014, the NC Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN), the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (“REACH”) and the Waterkeepers Alliance filed a race discrimination administrative complaint () against the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Civil Rights. The EPA accepted jurisdiction () of the complaint in early February 2015. The complaint alleges that DENR’s general permit allows industrial swine facilities in North Carolina to operate with grossly inadequate and outdated systems of controlling animal waste and little provision for government oversight, which has an unjustified disproportionate impact on the basis of race and national origin against African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the EPA’s implementing regulations. The Center for Civil Rights is co-counseling with Earthjustice (New York) on the case.
Read More... (EPA Examines Swine Waste in Duplin County)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 11, 2015 3:22 PM
Categories: Environmental Justice
The Center represents heirs of just a few of the thousands of victims of North Carolina's Eugenics policy in three appeals challenging the Eugenics Compensation Program's arbitrary exclusion of victims who died before June 30, 2013. These appeals all challenge the "living victim threshold" as a violation of equal protection under our state constitution. The Center is co-counseling on two of the cases with pro bono counsel Ed Pressly of Pressly, Thomas & Conley, PA of Statesville, NC. The Center recently submitted a brief () to the NC Court of Appeals regarding the exclusion of a victim who died prior to 2013.
Read More... (Center Assists Eugenics Victims in Struggle for Compensation)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 4, 2015 11:13 AM
By a 4-3 vote North Carolina’s Supreme Court overturned the ruling that the education voucher program, which sends public taxpayer dollars to private schools, is unconstitutional. In North Carolina, taxpayer support will now flow freely to schools that are not required to have trained or certified teachers, any identified or minimum curriculum, any accreditation, criminal background checks for employees, and that can discriminate on the basis of religion. Center submitted an amicus curiae brief arguing the program was unconstitutional because it increases segregation in public schools.
Read More... (NC Supreme Court Finds Segregating School Voucher Program Constitutional)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Mon. July 27, 2015 2:06 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Segregation
Since our last post, there have been several important rulings in Royal Oak Concerned Citizens et. al v. Brunswick County:
On September 13, 2012, Judge Thomas Lock denied Defendant’s Motions to Dismiss Mark Hardy and ROCCA's Complaints.
On November 14, 2012, the Court denied Defendant’s motion seeking to prohibit Plaintiffs from taking the depositions of a County Commissioner and the Assistant County Manager.
On January 18, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel Defendant to produce complete responses to a number of discovery requests, in part because Defendant had not produced an entire category of important documents: emails and other internal communications.
On February 18, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel the production of two more fact witnesses whom Defendant had refused to produce on the same “legislative immunity” grounds it had asserted last fall.
On February 28, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion in the Cause for Costs on grounds Defendant was in willful non-compliance with Judge Tally’s February 7, 2013 Order.
On March 5, 2013 , Judge Tally denied Defendant's motion seeking to prohibit Plaintiffs from deposing former County Commission Chair Bill Sue and County Manager Marty Lawing.
Finally, on March 8, 2013, Judge Thomas Lock will hear Defendant’s Motion to Reconsider. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Superior Court in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Read More... (Update on Brunswick Environmental Justice Case)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Thu. March 7, 2013 2:50 PM
Categories: Brunswick County, Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination