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Carolina Journal Radio No. 865: Redistricting fights resolved for 2020 elections

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2019 5:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 865: Redistricting fights resolved for 2020 elections

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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December 16, 2019 5:00 am

A three-judge state Superior Court panel has accepted North Carolina’s redrawn congressional election map. This completes the state’s most redistricting fight and sets the stage for 2020 elections. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the impact of court fights that forced Republican legislative leaders to redraw legislative and congressional election maps for the last election preceding a new national census. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment has come into conflict in recent years with state and local anti-discrimination laws. Gregory Wallace, Campbell University law professor, assesses how this conflict has played out in recent legal disputes. As the three-judge redistricting panel wrapped up its review of the new congressional map, Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway offered his assessment of recent changes in N.C. redistricting. He also spoke for his colleagues about their preferences for the future of state electoral mapmaking. A recent case involving N.C. state government and the famous pirate Blackbeard recently made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The dispute focuses on the rights to video and images from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the pirate’s shipwrecked flagship. You’ll hear highlights from oral arguments. Winston-Salem surgeon Dr. Gajendra Singh recently won the first round in his courtroom fight challenging North Carolina’s certificate-of-need restrictions. A judge rejected state efforts to dismiss Singh’s case. Singh challenges the CON law that blocks him from buying an MRI machine to help serve his patients. Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, discusses the significance of Singh’s courtroom victory.

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From Cherokee to current attack from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I Michiko guy during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. The Constitution's First Amendment has been running into conflicts with state and local antidiscrimination laws in recent years, a Campbell University expert surveys the legal landscape a case involving North Carolina state governments and the notorious pirate Blackbeard headed to the US Supreme Court. You'll hear highlights from oral arguments in state court, a Winston-Salem surgeon wins the first round of his legal battle challenging a North Carolina medical equipment, permission slip, you learn details and a wake County Superior Court Judge assesses the current state of redistricting law in North Carolina. Speaking of redistricting Donna Martinez tackles that topic. It's the latest Carolina Journal headline a panel of three Superior Court judges has now given a thumbs up to 13 newly drawn congressional districts for North Carolina candidates for the US House of Representatives have begun to file for all 13 seats. All this follows a court battle over what is or isn't too partisan when it comes to election districts and what is or isn't a competitive district. Rick Anderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal and Carolina Journal has been following all of the ins and outs of these court battles very closely joins us now with an update that well-connected shell thanks to so give us a sense of what the three-judge panel said when they issued the ruling panel was clearly the two Democrats, one Republican on the panel panel was clearly troubled by the fact that there were a lot of factual disagreements between the plaintiffs and the defendants and plaintiffs were a group of Democrats, led by former Atty. Gen. Eric Holder of this group is going around the country, basely trying to sue to get the Republican redistricting probably what redistricting efforts to become more democratic, not to become fair, but a more democratic and thoroughly suing in states in which Republicans have drawn the way the tribe weathers the governor the does the process of the legislature. Just process whatever that works, and the defendants were was Carolina and the Gen. assembly, essentially because Gen. simply draws maps and the arguments that the two sides had were very different, and also the facts were very different.

For instance, the attorney Phil Strack for the for the defendants said that something like 35% of North Carolinians would be living in new congressional districts. The plaintiff said no was more like 25% is pretty difference were talking about 2 million people. A significant number of folks are. There were also some other differences about whether or not the districts were significantly different than the ones that were there beforehand and the like, and basically the judges said look sorting through all this will take time.

It took us three years to basically get through the legislative districting issue before we got to assess the agreement that people were happy enough with we don't have time as the judge, Paul Ridgeway, the senior judge said the people need to vote, and it's time for the people to vote and so his argument was that candidate filing is open. There's a chance that a delay as he learned from the attorneys for the state board of elections that a delay in the primary, if they were heavenly filing. Could be that the Primary Would Take Pl. in June or as late as August and the defense attorney said there the last time we did this in 2016.

Not that long ago we had a drop off about 80% of the number of people who voted in a separate congressional primary Rick did it down, watch the judges panel into approving at this map based on the fact that the process that was used to draw the 13 districts was very open, very transparent. Essentially, it's the same process that those three judges had required the redrawing of some legislative districts which they ended up approving to that help that helpless and they said this was not perfect, but that it was by far superior process and what's been used before. They said they hope that in the future legislatures would use this sort of process again and also they pointed out they they chided the plaintiffs a bit for saying that for filing a lawsuit in late September when Supreme Court handed down its decision in late June saying that future redistricting battles like this have three have to take place in state courts in the point that Judge Ridgeway made for the court was that look at this was such an issue for you. Why did you file and say July, rather than in September.

It looks like you are the ones who are trying to run out the clock not the Republicans is been asserted by some on the left and there had been questions as to whether or not there would be an appeal. It looks like Eric Holder's organization. That's the group that is been suing in state-run Republicans have drawn the districts they have said nope they're not going to appeal this as far as we know this is final going to go forward with this candidate. Some are filing and yet some people are still saying hey, this isn't fair. It's too partisan it set up for Republicans to win very interesting column written by our colleague Mitch Co. kind course cohosting here of Carolina Journal radio which you can read it Carolina which Mitch makes the point. What you know people can say that it's too partisan, one way or the other but if you actually look at the map and look at the clusters of counties that make up the districts looks pretty darn fair if you look at it because he actually added some photos embedded them in the text of the column.

We show that for instance on the far eastern far western sides of the state. The districts served are very compact and make a lot of sense. There's the district that the attorneys mentioned during arguments that the Outer Banks district as they call it which goes essentially from the Virginia border almost always on the Wilmington area that's that's a district it's been relatively consistent for the better part of 30 or 40 years I kept it that way. Now we have a far western North Carolina district, which essentially goes through draws a line from Boone South and the Midwest and covers all that area. The states with Nashville is now completely encompassed in the 11th congressional district was before.

If you look at the map. It's it's interesting because it looks like there are natural groupings.

Now this case out of wake County and Mecklenburg County at Mitch points out in his comic Carolina Those were the two places where the population is large enough that that in those two cases they actually have a district like that is just that County. Now we County.

There's also portion of wake County that is in a different district, but that's because of the population density of the directors to the people. Both counties were there to be just simply encompassed in a single district without any other district involved wake and Mecklenburg were done that way, which is not the case of the past. In fact, according to some of the proposals that came before the JetBlue the redistricting committee if I'm not mistaken. One or the other County might've been split up as many as three or four times so they know that that was something that that the court was was concerned about.

Secondly, Cumberland County, which has been divided almost every previous map is now unified. One district of there's also there are also other voters involved but still Cumberland County is now a solid district so you have the Fort Bragg area you have that that very strong military area all be represented by one person and Rick. If you have been watching these maps and have looked at the previous maps used for number of years. What is now no longer there. In the current map that we will be using is what's known as the snake to drive district over in Charlotte Mecklenburg I 85 corridor that Democrats had cobbled together to make a district and it became kind of the poster child for Jerry right on this next on the shrimp and lobster. What first district is really like. That's gone and so the districts make sense both.

If you look at them from from the standpoint of geometrics. It fortresses the fifth district stretches from the Virginia border to the South Carolina border, but it encompasses essentially the foothills the web view of the western foothills and so that's something that's a different design because the representative there. Virginia Fox is basically the northwestern corner of the state. Still, even so you gotta have a district that either runs north-south or east-west. You had to make that your essay and I decided to basically come with met with measurement and with the designs of that are pretty, but do make some sense that what so now we have the maps the candidates are filing and that we will be voting. Using these maps, but there's a new census coming up in 2020 and after every census there is a re-drawing of the maps there's some talk that North Carolina because of our population growth might to have an additional district seller we get to be back in court again, possibly, but we got we we will have another district as we almost got 1/14 district in 2010 but we will have 1/14 district just depends on what happens, one thing if we see a redistricting reform measure that the John Locke foundation is been talking about advocating for a quarter-century come forward. It is possible that that would preclude court challenges, but so will just have to see. Stay tuned. All sorts of things could happen, but for now, we do have a congressional district. Thanks very much. Gotta say, with this much more Carolina Journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina Journal honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina Journal is free to subscribers sign up it Carolina

You'll receive Carolina Journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles. The powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine the light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus I print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina once, twice, even three times a day. You won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for daily email do that Carolina Carolina Journal, rigorous, unrelenting, old-school journalism, we hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I Mitch co-guy the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains some of the most important protections of fundamental American rights.

What happens when First Amendment protections run up against government antidiscrimination laws to subject our next guest recently discussed with the John Locke foundation's Shaftesbury society Greg Wallace is a professor at the Campbell University law school. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me. So this is something that is very interesting. It's something we've seen more of you in recent years the First Amendment is very important and also government efforts that do fight discrimination. How do these things end up combating each other. 21 states and many more localities have laws that prohibit discrimination. Now, on the basis of not just race and religion and national origin, sex, but also on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and what's happening is that there is a clash in Glenda in the economic marketplace.

The business world between business owners who are motivated by either moral scruples or religious convictions who don't want to engage in speech in expressive activity that facilitates gay marriage. These there been several cases decided at state level and there are, of course, was one big case, the Supreme Court level masterpiece cake shop carries so we are seeing more and more of litigation involving the reapplication of these antidiscrimination laws to activities that ordinarily are protected by the First Amendment. So you have this clash between freedom and equality for those who remember that case, the Baker actually won. The Supreme Court said that the state had discriminated against him, but that doesn't end the story. That doesn't mean that he or other business owners can just automatically say no. I have a religious objection. I'm not going to take part in something that promotes the same-sex marriage where things stand ethic. What is you as you correctly point out, this was a very narrow victory for the Baker. In that case, his arguments most of his arguments actually focused on this being a case of compelled speech that he is a is an artist that was one of the reasons why he called his cake shop. The masterpiece cake shop in making these custom cakes as an artist. He was engaging in speech and without the states antidiscrimination law would force him to say things through his art that he did not want to say.

Well, the Supreme Court sidestepped that issue and instead found evidence within the proceedings leading up to two this case before the state civil rights commission of religious bias.

Religious antireligious animus and so the court on very narrow grounds decided that he had been the victim of of antireligious BIOS and then sent the case back down for reconsideration. Hopefully without that bias. So, in many respects, the whole decision about which has precedence the First Amendment or the antidiscrimination laws that's that's still an open question. There have been some courts that have decided this there been state courts in Colorado and in Oregon that have decided against the business owner saying that and in and also the state of Washington which and in these cases, Washington, Oregon, Carl have said that the owner his or her First Amendment rights must most most be subjected to the operation of these state antidiscrimination laws must they must give way and recently last month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal Court of Appeals, which is the highest court to really address this question concluded in a similar case that the that two videographers who were making who were Christians who were making wedding videos were if under Minnesota law, they were forced to make videos celebrating same-sex marriage that was against their their convictions and who Eighth Circuit actually reached the speech question. Unlike the Supreme Court in the masterpiece cake shop and said that this was a case of unconstitutional compelled speech on the part of the state of Minnesota. We are speaking with Greg Wallace who was a professor at the Campbell University law school. It sounds as if this is the type of case. Whether it's this one or some other similar case that's bound to go back to the Supreme Court to help decide this one simple yes, the Supreme Court typically lets these things percolate in in the lower courts both both the cases from Washington and and from Oregon Supreme Court recently remanded the case to the walk to the Oregon Supreme Court and said you would we want you to reconsider it in time and light of masterpiece cake shop they had done that with the prior case from Washington state. This Eighth Circuit case is going to be a good one for those who support the First Amendment freedoms. I don't know that it will be the one that the Supreme Court will take to resolve this.

There may be other federal circuit courts who have to weigh in on this issue before the Supreme Court takes one of those cases as an expert in constitutional law and looking at the competing claims here what your sense of how this either. Should or will ultimately play out. I think what you're looking at here is states trying to regulate private choice within the business world and it just because somebody is doing something for profit doesn't mean that they lose their First Amendment protection and I was happy to see this Eighth Circuit case come out the way it did because I think I think not every body is going to be engaging in expressive type activities. If somebody is serving a pizza to to a customer that that's not in expressive activity. But even even in the masterpiece cake shop he made the. The argument that this was compelled speech, but he was willing to sell any of his premade cakes off the shelves to the gay couple that they could use during their wedding, so you have to be very careful to draw this distinction between conduct on the one hand, and speech. On the other, but the Eighth Circuit I think draws it carefully and can be asking to see how cases go after this one in the brief time that we have left is this something that's likely to be resolved anytime soon or are we going to see probably years. More debates about this. I think were going to see at least a couple more years. Right now the Supreme Court this term has a very important couple of very important cases appear to decide whether the prohibition on sex discrimination under federal antidiscrimination law also includes sexual orientation and asking to be a very important decision. I think that if the court obviously nobody when the law was passed like title VII timeline. If nobody thought of this.

Also protecting sexual orientation Reaven gender identity, and so the aliasing see how the Supreme Court rules on this and I think that could give us a signal as to how these other cases come out in the future. One person is going to be watching the very closely and offering his expert insight analysis on all of these topics exist. Greg Wallace. He is professor at the Campbell University law school like so much for joining us. Thanks a lot more on Carolina journal radio just a moment. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean Martin, Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Try it today.

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Be sure to designate as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John lot foundation will connect Carolina journal radio I Michiko got a bipartisan three-judge panel has ended its work on North Carolina election maps endorsing new maps enacted by state lawmakers for 2020 Democratic Judge Paul Ridgway recapped the results of the judge's work in early December, three months on September 3, 2019. This court announce this judgment and common cause versus Lewis and declared it extreme partisan gerrymandering was unconstitutional under the North Carolina Constitution in the 90 days following that ruling, the voters, North Carolina now have Gen. assembly House and Senate maps drafted by the Gen. assembly and approved by the court that remedy extreme partisan German past. After this court preliminarily enjoined further use of the 2016 congressional maps voters North Carolina now have a new congressional map in the same 90 day period, the citizens of North Carolina for the first time were witnesses to the drafting of their voting districts new general assembly districts in the congressional districts were not on basement political, as was the case with prior amounts that were drawn by the general assembly in public hearings live streaming audio and video in a process that began with nonpartisan base maps which were then amended without reference to past election data.

Much is changed with respect North Carolina redistricting past three months. The court in entering its preliminary injunction on October 28, 2019 expressed grave concerns about delaying and disrupting the voting process and urge the Gen. assembly to adopt a new congressional map through a process similar to the one undertaken to remedy the house and Senate maps in the common cause Gen. assembly did enact a new congressional and although one can certainly argue that the process was flawed, or the result is far from ideal. The net result is the greatest previously for all flawed 2016 Congressional Map Has Been Pl. What does this mean for the future of election maps supports for the past 90 days becomes the foundation for future redistricting North Carolina in the future. Maps are crafted through a process worthy of public confidence in the process that yields elections that are conducted really and honestly to ascertain fairly untruthfully will. That's when County Judge Paul Ridgway recapping recent court decisions upholding new election maps for Congress and the North Carolina Gen. assembly in 2020 will return with more Carolina journal what a moment where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time that's listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko got a legal fight involving the state of North Carolina and the pirate Blackbeard recently made its way to the US Supreme Court. At issue is whether a videographer can sue the state under a 1990 federal law. It focuses on copyright infringement. He says the state unlawfully used his images of the wreckage of Blackbeard's flagship the Queen Anne's revenge. His lawyer, Derek Schaefer sparred with Supreme Court Justice Sonja Soto Mayor over the extent of federal copyright protection.

Clearly, the framers contemplation is these are exclusive rights for anyone who may infringe has to pay for Congress's job is to secure those rights.

The latter part of your soon nothing about it.

It says, securing the copyright but it doesn't say making sure that the copyright owner shall pay to promote promote progress as a city Mayor. It is a preamble that is not echoed anywhere else in artists.

Some would say that injunctive relief promotes progress. James Madison's conception reflected in the text of what the Manale monopoly would achieve is that the authors and inventors would get paid for their invention would get paid for their creations and is the court. As I indicated back in 1888 recognized is antithetical to the say that government of any.

Certainly the federal government can infringe those exclusive rights Ryan Park Deputy State solicitor Gen. argued for North Carolina, the state contends it can't be sued state sovereign immunity is a fundamental feature of our constitutional structure at this court has repeatedly reaffirmed immunity from private lawsuits seeking money damages is inherent in the nature of sovereignty of the founding remains today is a kind, and the Constitution preserves this aspect of state sovereignty unless there is compelling evidence that the state surrendered it when they ratified a particular constitutional provision. My friend has failed to identify any historical evidence that anyone at the founding remotely contemplated that the intellectual property clause would allow for damages lawsuits against states.

In fact, it was not until the 1970s, nearly 2 centuries after the first copyright act that a federal court ever awarded damages of this kind. Mr. Allen seeks to portray this settled state of affairs is somehow anomalous but nothing could be further from the case all of Congress's general lawmaking powers are subject to limits found elsewhere in the Constitution, including limits that protect state sovereignty. So Congress cannot commandeer state legislators in force in the past copyright protective laws under separation of powers principles judicial review of copyright claims in the center sure committee. Likewise, state sovereign immunity limits Congress the authority to expose state treasuries to the copyright act exorbitant financial remedies, and for that reason, to the deck cannot be justified under section 5 of the 14th amendment. Copyright infringement rarely rises to a constitutional violation in all, let alone pose the kind of serious constitutional threat that allows for expansive remedies like abrogation and liability under the act's expansive vastly greater than anything required by the due process clause includes statutory damages of up to hundred $50,000 per infringement even if the plaintiff cannot prove she suffered any actual harm and create the strict liability regime the covers, negligent, and even innocent infringement even though of course only deliberate property deprivations can violate the Constitution and these concerns are far from theoretical. The First Circuit has affirmed a $675,000 drop judgment against the college to for sharing online a few copyrighted songs. Justice Stephen Breyer offered Park a hypothetical what it states tried to pad their treasuries by violating the copyrights of blockbuster movies wonderful money raising thing. What the state decides to do with its own website charging five dollars or something is to run Rocky is marble whatever Spider-Man, perhaps a Groundhog Day great idea several billion dollars flows into the treasury. Okay, you win. Why won't that happen. Copyright is to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited time, the exclusive right to their respective writings, but, of course, California decides that the person who wrote Rocky Marvel etc. will unfortunately receive nothing because everyone will loosing on the state's own streaming device. What what is your response. Sovereign immunity does not invade the exclusive right so I think that that hypothetical misunderstands respectfully the role of sovereign immunity in our constitutional system. Other justices remain skeptical, but capital Justice Breyer's point is that it could be rampant states riffing off copyright holders and how is that how can that be squared with the exclusive right if states can do this which presumably a ruling in your favor will do nothing but encourage them to do. Soto Mayor also raised concerns about the state's so-called Blackbeard law it was designed to block lawsuits for copyright infringement would like to do with the Blackbeard law is deeply troubling. It's a state saying even if noninfringing you can't get that's basically how I read that loan what remedies they have under federal law or state doing something after pointed questions for lawyers on both sides. Schaefer had a chance to make a final plea for his client. The videographer he claims North Carolina violated his copyright. My clients are putting two decades of work essentially trying to be there to ask when when these images are excavated underwater great expense at great risk, and this is all essentially my clients get out of the copyrighted. The allegations of the complaint are that North Carolina not once or twice but repeatedly and systematically was infringing those copyrights was caught doing it paid $15,000. Under the terms of the settlement agreement when doing it. Even after this complaint was filed. They continued to infringe the copyrights in the resolution by the Fourth Circuit is everything is dismissed, and as to injunctive relief, Congress found it provides no meaningful remedy in this context is all about getting paid for past damages. In order for this to be a meeting for any and in this case the request for injunctive relief is thrown out. Why because North Carolina did exactly what you articulated Justice Breyer. They said well we stopped infringing those images now that you pointed out in court. We taken those down without God and without benefit of discovery. The Fourth Circuit roots you. That is the end of the request for injunctive relief, and that's how it goes in copyright case now as to the notion that there could be individual suits against individual officers qualified immunity is a defense in this context I commend to the court that Fourth Circuit's decision on this point. They basically said because there's some defense that's available to these officials. They say they read the settlement agreement differently. Maybe they didn't know was copyright infringement. Maybe they were looking for the watermarks or the timestamps that is good enough defense qualified immunity gets them out of the case and those claims to resist. That's why it's so important part of why it's so important copyright cases that there be secure remedies for copyright holders. That's true again states in its true against anyone.

Most copyright holders. These are small fish. They have not sunk cost into this sort of a registration and they need to have secure statutory damages and attorneys fees in order to come to court at all, because in copyright cases as Congress found the testimony before it in the end the submissions of the register.

You need to have statutory debt. Otherwise, how can you quantify what the harmless and especially given how small the stakes are in copyright cases and help under healed. Most copyright plaintiffs are if you don't have the statutory damages you don't have a right what happens in ordinary cases. This is exactly what Congress looked at. They said the ruling copyright cases absent the C RCA is that copyright infringement pays for states they will get away with it. Every time you will not have copyright holders who have incentives and means and attorneys to bring suit that should not be the outcome in this case you been listening to highlights recent US Supreme Court oral argument. It involves the state of North Carolina copyright law and the Queen Anne's revenge flagship of the infamous pirate Blackbeard ruling on the case should be issued by June will return with more Carolina journal radio really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more.

When you look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse envy of every other state. Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn. Expand your choice of schools for your kids.

Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez.

We have promising news to share with you.

Any effort to advance freedom in the healthcare arena away County Superior Court judge issued a ruling in the case filed against the state of North Carolina to Forsyth County surgeon Dr. Ginger saying is seeking to offer MRIs to his patients. He says he can do it at a lower price than the currently being charged elsewhere.

After saying is being prevented from doing that by an archaic state law and that's what makes this ruling so important. John Bizet is director of legal studies for the John lock foundation.

He is following the case closely and joins us now with an update on welcome back to the show started.

Tell us what the judge ruled in Wyatt's significant wealth. The ruling came in response to a motion by the state of North Carolina to dismiss Dr. Singh's case, the state said that he the case should be dismissed for two reasons one is that he lacked standing because he had failed to exhaust all his administrative remedies also said that he failed to state a failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted. What does that mean for those of us who aren't attorneys. What's the upshot of the ruling well.

The upshot of the rule is the case go forward and it was really the right call. In this case because to suggest to Dr. Singh lacked standing for failure to exhaust his remedies would have just to put this in perspective at the time Dr. Singh filed his complaint. There were no certificates of need available. That means there was no possible way he could have bought and started operating MRI machine Forsyth County if he is patient stated that services had the sudden to one of the big hospitals are providing that service at a high cost simply wasn't an option. Now, after he filed the complaint, the board that administers these matters decided that they would make one more certificate of need available in Forsyth County and they said like anybody else he could apply for. He estimated it would cost about 1/2 $1 million $500,000 just to go through the application process because of all the legal fees that is stunning. How could a doctor possibly incur that kind of cost law small operator like Dr. Singh couldn't possibly do it in the thing that makes it so grossly unfair is that he could actually have purchased the machine for 750,000. So to suggest that he spent half a million simply trying to compete for the privilege of by the 7700 $50,000 piece of equipment is just absurd that in and of itself shows that this law is unfair. Okay, so the state essentially wanted the judge to St. note this case can't go forward.

It's dismissed, but the judge said no it will go for it will go forward and that's great news for Dr. Singh is great news for the rest of us because it means that this case could seem to be heard on its merits. Sure it's gonna work its way through the courts, but ultimately were hoping that it will bake healthcare much more affordable and accessible North Carolina. Dr. Singh's contention is that damn estate law. It's actually called certificate of need you referenced it is what is preventing him from offering this and it involves this complicated process that you've described here. Give us a little bit more information about this certificate of need.

Essentially yet to have a government permission slip to do something you do North Carolina's original certificate of the law went into effect in the early 1980s and the objective then as now was to limit the number of providers of thought was that somehow by limiting the member providers you could reduce costs. That law was struck down as unconstitutional. Almost immediately, but the state legislature did it again and the new law has so far survived charge, but it's never been to the state Supreme Court yet so were hoping this case will will eventually reach the Supreme Court in the court will say that this law like the previous laws unconstitutional. John, it seems to turn economics on its head, because there's actually a state agency or division. A group that determines whether or not there is a quote need for particular medical device or service.

How can state government possibly know that well they can't know that, but it's even worse than that, frankly, because many of the people on the board that makes these decisions are members of the work in the existing healthcare system and they are on the side of the big hospitals and other big providers that have the current con loss has occurred.

Certificates of need.

So they have an effective monopoly on the service so they got there about this. They're not just on our dispassionate in their decisions about these things are on God instead of to reduce the number of providers.

John there is a debate over whether or not this relaxing of certificate of need or complete repeal of that in allowing a competition to go forward. Whether or not that would lead to lower costs and down more opportunities and more access for consumers of healthcare when you wrote a piece about this called a victory for healthcare freedom about this, this court ruling to send this case forward. You make a a note that there's a lot of research on this there is in our in our brief that we filed in this case we decided dozens of reports, everything all the research that's been done since the last time the Court of Appeals heard a a challenge to this law and all of that overwhelming evidence that shows that when you have con laws. Healthcare is less accessible and more expensive than when you don't disappears over and over again in the course is just common sense. Economic theory would you to expect.

Do you predict that this case the Dr. Singh will prevail in this hard to say daughter because there's a long history in this country of courts deferring to legislators on this kind of matter when it comes to economic regulations. Economic rights are really second-class rights in this country and so courts are tempted to say. Well if the legislature thinks this is a legitimate use of government power them are going to defer to them and in this case that's still a possibility because when the legislature passed the second common law. They added a set series of legislative findings that simply stated, in a conclusory sort of way that reducing the availability of certain medical services will reduce the cost. Now that's that's why we provide all evidence because the evidence doesn't support those findings, but it's going to be up to the Supreme Court.

In the end, I suspect, let me see if I understand this case is going forward, if he prevails, the court would rule that it is unconstitutional, preventing him from doing this from offering this this equipment this service to his patients. If that occurred. John then then certificate of nevi would be struck down.

Well I'm sure that if that happened at the thing at the Superior Court level to get to go up to the Court of Appeals and multiply to the sprinkler Supreme Court agreed and the law was struck down.

Then it would be there be all kinds of new opportunities for medical entrepreneurs to provide new goods and services. Let's say that the case does not go.

Dr. Singh's way.

It sounds like the legislature could on its own, decide to repeal this law takes exception, they certainly could. And they should.

And we've been urging them to do that for years. One of the reasons I'm so excited about this case is because we seen this happen in the past when is let litigation starts to expose the problems with the law and make the lawsuit untenable. Then it gets the legislature's attention are more likely to do something to reform it. So were hopeful that we might wind up victory that way is not in the courts. It's a fascinating ruling a very significant ruling in this case that could lead to more healthcare access and healthcare freedom. The case is Singh V DHHS that actually stands for Department of Health and Human Services, a state agency we been talking with John today is been writing about this.

You can find all of his analysis of this case and this John is director of legal studies for the John Locke foundation. Thank you, thank you.that's all the time we have for the show this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch.

Okay I'm Donna Martinez and hope you join us again next week for more Carolina general radio Carolina general radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina sending email to development John Locke.or call 1866 GLM 16655466 Carolina Journal radio is the John line foundation airline is maintaining Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are selling their labor station. More information about the show or other programs and services of the foundation. John Locke toll-free at 866 JM would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across airline and our sponsors. Carolina Journal radio. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next week

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