Opinion Roundup: Sept. 18-23, 2016 -- A talkative justice, education politics and more

Posted September 23, 2016 4:49 p.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2016 4:59 p.m. EDT

State Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby (courtesy Newbyforcourt.com)

Justice Newby lets controversial cat out of his bag (Fayetteville Observer) -- We hear a lot about judicial activism these days, but we don't often see it. In most cases, judges on the appellate level hear arguments, interpret the law and issue a ruling. They do their job, deciding how the Constitution and law apply to situations our Founders couldn't possibly foresee.

Needing consent of the governed for a full education agenda (EdNC column) -- Elections are about issues and about candidates’ character and ability to govern. Elections are also about candidates seeking consent from the electorate. The 2016 elections ought to allow voters to decide whether to consent to the full agenda pursued by Republicans over the past five years, or to consent to a new agenda defined by Democrat Roy Cooper and Democratic legislators to take the state in another direction.

Gasoline pipeline break adds pain at the pump (Fayetteville Observer) -- The prices at the pump are rudely getting our attention this week as they jump 10 cents a gallon or more from where they were just last week.

50 days out, here's what political experts think and predict! (Charlotte Observer) – We’re less than 50 days out. Seven Tuesdays away. No matter which mile post you choose, one thing is certain: North Carolina’s biggest races are also close races. What’s ahead? To help answer that, we bring back two veteran N.C. political strategists, Republican Carter Wrenn and Democrat Gary Pearse.

No middle ground: Forest, Coleman stick to party lines (Wilson Times) -- Red meat was on the menu Tuesday night as Barton College’s Kennedy Family Theatre hosted the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership’s lieutenant governor debate

First, keep them alive (Greensboro News & Record) -- Paramedics recently saved the life of a High Point man who had overdosed on painkillers.

GENE SMITH: Indigestible clarifications and just desserts (Fayetteville Observer column) -- Realizing that Campaign 2016 would be a smorgasbord of nutty delights, and unwilling to regurgitate every "Aha!" and every fact-check served up by the political gourmands, I've been pacing myself.

In Donald Trump’s moment of truth, another lie (Charlotte Observer) -- Was Donald Trump a birther?

Medicaid expansion would aid struggling hospitals (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Nash UNC Health Care officials joined a growing chorus of hospital administrators last week in decrying the negative effects they continue to suffer due to the N.C. General Assembly’s failure to expand Medicaid.

MARGARET DICKSON: Ross shows commitment to students (Fayetteville Observer column) -- North Carolina's future and our citizens' prosperity depend on high-quality, well-funded public schools and college education that is affordable and accessible. Unfortunately for our students and families, incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr talks a big game on education but puts himself and special interests first.

Footage, heroic and otherwise, must be public (Winston-Salem Journal) -- We were glad to see local heroes receive commendations for their courageous and selfless actions in the case of a recent accident and truck fire. But the release of footage of the incident raises larger concerns.

PHIL KIRK: GOP record on education is strong (Salisbury Post column) -- Recently my friend, Fran Koster, wrote an op-ed in which he claimed to be a rebuttal to John Hood’s column about education, teacher pay, and pilot programs. While he stated that Hood did not tell the whole truth, neither did Koster in his attempt to downplay the tremendous Republican gains in public education in recent years.

UNC sexual assault case raises big questions (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Nationwide, there’ve been reports that colleges and universities have not taken seriously claims of sexual assault. Now, a case at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill raises big questions along those lines.

Public meeting prayer issue overshadows education (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Regardless of Monday’s ruling from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that elected officials may open public meetings with sectarian prayers, members of the Pitt County Board of Education should restrict their meeting activities to the business of education,

Flag-stomping teacher needs a lesson in common sense (Fayetteville Observer) -- There are times when the exercise of our core freedoms is best seasoned with common sense. It's unfortunate that Lee Francis lacks that essential ingredient on his spice rack.

Winning numbers (Greensboro News & Record) -- The N.C. Education Lottery last week reported netting a record $634 million during the state’s 2015-16 fiscal year.

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