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Courts Dismiss Several Redistricting Complaints

A three-judge panel today dismissed nearly half of the complaints filed by Democrats and the NAACP regarding North Carolina’s new congressional and legislative maps.

The Superior Court judges dismissed many claims that the maps are unconstitutional because of divided cities, counties and precincts.

The court did not say that discrimination claims have merit but acknowledged the plaintiffs have made claims and the court must consider the facts.

This is a statement from Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), Senate Chairman of the Redistricting Committee: "I am pleased that many of these frivolous complaints were dismissed today and am confident that once the facts are presented, the remainder of complaints will be tossed out.”

New Laws in Effect

Several important of pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly have become law during the last month.

As of December 1st, one of the new laws now in effect is the Unborn Victims Of Violence Act / Ethen's Law. Senator Ralph Hise supported this legislation, which places North Carolina alongside 35 other states as well as the federal government in recognizing that a criminal who commits murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman is also guilty of the same crime against her unborn baby.

The Castle Doctrine law passed by the General Assembly also took effect on December 1st. Senator Hise supported this law, which provides additional protection to property owners who use their weapons in self-defense. It also expands the number of places that citizens with a concealed carry permit can carry firearms.

Also taking effect was Zahra’s Law, the law crafted in response to the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker of Hickory. This legislation makes it a felony to dismember human remains and to conceal a death or secretly dispose of a body.

On January 1st, House Bill 12 - Stop Methamphetamine Labs became law. This law requires pharmacies to enter information on the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine into a national database, and requires that pharmacists “not complete the sale” of the product “if the system generates of a stop alert.”

Also taking effect was Senate Bill 646 - Modify Graduated Licensing Requirements, which requires our teenagers under the age of 18 to log some additional driving time with their parents before they obtain limited or full provisional drivers’ licenses.

A complete list of new legislation and effective dates is available at the General Assembly’s website here.

Conservative Ratings

Several state and national conservative advocacy groups have taken time to examine and rate the North Carolina General Assembly’s work during the 2011 legislative session.

The NC Free Enterprise Foundation recently released its 2011 Business Ratings, which analyzed the actions of legislators toward the interests and concerns of North Carolina's business community. Senator Ralph Hise was named a consistent supporter of free enterprise, voting on every occasion in support of the North Carolina business community’s preferred position on issues identified as meaningful to them.

Senator Hise was also recently awarded the American Conservative Union’s Defender of Liberty award. As part of their 2011 State Legislative Ratings, he received a perfect score on votes relating to conservative principles including constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, free markets and traditional values.

Finally, Civitas Action released its 2011 Conservative Effectiveness Rankings, which were derived from legislative votes on economic and budget matters, social and cultural issues and crime and justice legislation. Based on his voting record, Senator Hise shared the rank of second most conservative member of the North Carolina Senate, with a 97.7 percent conservative effectiveness score.