North Carolina now the first state to give college students the right to an attorney

college degree booksNorth Carolina college students still have to worry about paying for textbooks and waking up in time for class, but thanks to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, they no longer have to face disciplinary charges from their universities without representation.

On Friday, McCrory signed a landmark piece of legislation, the “Students and Administration Equality Act,” that ensures public university students the right to an attorney in campus courts.

“Students across America are regularly tried in campus courts for serious offenses like theft, harassment, and even rape,” said Robert Shibley, who is Vice-President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group that helped to pass the law. “Being labeled a felon and kicked out by your college carries serious, life-altering consequences. Because the stakes are so high, students should have the benefit of an attorney to ensure the hearing is conducted fairly and by the rules.”

With the signing of this law, North Carolina becomes the first state in the country to guarantee these legal protections to public university students. The new law ensures that students who face disciplinary charges on campus are entitled to have an attorney or a similar advocate present at their hearing.

Though the law is unique to North Carolina, it passed with broad bipartisan support. The law was co-sponsored by multiple Republicans and Democrats, and passed the North Carolina legislature by a 112-1 vote on May 15. After some alterations, it was included in the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, which passed on July 26.

According to Joe Cohn, the Legislative and Policy Director at FIRE, the law will ‘level the playing field’ for students when it comes to the disciplinary process.

“For many students, especially first-generation college students or those who might come from disadvantaged backgrounds, facing down a room full of deans, administrators, and university lawyers when accused of a campus crime is a hugely intimidating task,” said Cohn. “Giving these students access to legal representation levels the playing field and, especially given the importance of college education in one’s life and career, could make a difference that will last a lifetime.”

Comments

Polititainment

Jay Carney's son performs at White House

The former White House press secretary and now CNN political commentator tweeted out a photo of his son's band Twenty20 performing at a White House event Monday evening.

Stewart: Graham has panicked for 13 yrs
Comedian Jon Stewart is taking some time away from going after his favorite Republican war hawk Sen. John McCain and is now going after McCain’s fellow rally crier, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham had some strong words over the weekend on the topic of ISIS, saying,  ”This president needs to rise to the occasion before we […]
Actress: I made 'constitutional' stand

Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts said Monday morning that she made a stand for her "constitutional rights" in resisting the LAPD late last week.

Gillibrand Madam Secretary inspiration

After first revealing that CBS' upcoming "Madam Secretary" series was inspired by Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, the show's producers are now saying that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was more of the inspiration for the lead role.

 

Maher compares GOP rep. to ISIS, Ebola

Liberal comedian Bill Maher announced who he calls the "winning loser" in Congress during a live taping of "Real Time with Bill Maher" in Washington, D.C., Friday, and that loser is Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.).

White House

Two remarkable stories show why these Vietnam vets earned an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor

Two Vietnam War veterans who were granted an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor were officially recognized Monday, recalling the extraordinary courage of servicemen often obscured by the tumultuous domestic politics of the era.

Obama orders airstrikes in Syria for first time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening a new military front in the Middle East, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time Wednesday night, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a broad mission to root out the violent Islamic State militants whose reign of terror has spread across both countries.

Golf courses are now rejecting President Obama

A president can no longer just golf like a major champion today.

Crushing: The golf industry fights the Obama administration

How's this for a hook: The golf industry is fighting the Obama administration.

Little boy face plants on White House couch in front of President Obama

The above photo from the White House Flickr account shows a little blond boy more taken with the White House's comfy couches than with President Obama himself.

Congress

Senator tells ISIS war protestors to get lost

The anti-everything activist group Code Pink loudly crashed a Senate hearing on ISIS Tuesday, prompting the committee chairman to tell the rowdier members to get lost.

Pelosi not sure how she feels on money in politics
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Monday night to talk money in politics, but her tone on the subject changed significantly from beginning to end. Host Seth Meyers brought up Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent speech on the campaign finance amendment proposed by Democrats. Cruz opposed the amendment and warned […]
GOP has advantage in midterms on immigration

Politico poll conducted between August 29 and September 7 shows that voters deciding this tight races trust Republicans over Democrats to handle immigration.

Poll finds that likely voters remain uninformed
A Rasmussen poll released on Thursday found that just weeks before the midterm elections, more than one-third of Americans likely to vote in 2014 don’t know which party controls the House and Senate. For months political analysts have been anxiously trying to predict if the country’s dissatisfaction with President Obama’s policies will be enough to […]
WaPo analysis shows Democrats driving polarization
President Obama and many leading Democrats are publicly complaining that Republicans have created a polarized political environment which prevents them from accomplishing necessary business, like immigration reform and Obamacare. But according to the analysis of L.J. Zigerell, a political scientist writing for the Washington Post, the reverse is true. Over the past 30 years, Democrats […]