Clayton Henkel

Clayton Henkel

Communications Coordinator Clayton Henkel manages the NC Newsline website and daily newsletter, while also producing daily audio commentaries and the weekly News and Views radio program/podcast.

Common Cause of NC’s Bob Phillips on a trio of remarkable rulings from the state Supreme Court

By: - May 8, 2023

The Republican majority of the North Carolina state Supreme Court issued a trio a rulings last week on the subject of elections and voting rights that promise to further undermine our increasingly fragile democracy. In Harper v. Hall, the court ruled that state lawmakers are free to gerrymander electoral districts for partisan gain to their […]

State Rep. Julie von Haefen on a bevy of bills that threaten to undermine public education

By: - May 8, 2023

This past week was crossover week at the North Carolina General Assembly – the legislature’s self-imposed deadline for passing bills to keep them eligible during the 2023 session. It’s an event that helped turn the steady stream of backward-looking bills that have been winning approval from the Republican supermajorities into a virtual torrent. Fortunately, despite […]

Education policy expert Kris Nordstrom of the NC Justice Center discusses school vouchers

By: - May 8, 2023

One of the top priorities for the conservative majorities at the General Assembly this year is a bill that would dramatically expand the state’s controversial private school voucher program. Under the legislation, all North Carolina households with kids – even wealthy families who already send their children to exclusive and expensive private schools – would […]

At the NC Senate, even gun limits favored in Fox News poll fail to gain traction

By: - May 8, 2023

When Senator Danny Britt (R-Robeson) rose to explain Senate Bill 650 last Monday night on the Senate floor in hopes of securing the bill’s approval, Senator Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg) was quick to offer a bit of tongue-in-cheek praise. “The ‘Gun Violence Prevention Act,’ I love the title, Senator Britt,” said Marcus. “I love it so […]

Weekend reads: Republicans pass new abortion hurdles, massive school voucher expansion, and one NC town’s struggle to reinvent itself

By: - May 7, 2023

1. Republican bill banning most abortions in NC after 12 weeks heads to Gov. Roy Cooper The state House passed the bill late Wednesday night, so it will soon land on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. Cooper, a Democrat, has said he will veto the measure. The bill will likely become law anyway. Republicans have veto-proof […]

NC fast tracks legislation to ban gender-affirming surgery for minors

By: - May 2, 2023

Without questions or debate, members of the House Committee on Health advanced legislation Tuesday that would block gender-affirming surgical care for minors in North Carolina. “If you are under the age of 18 in North Carolina, you cannot get a tattoo at all, even with your parents consent. You can’t get a body piercing other […]

Rep. John Autry discusses the attacks on transgender students and the promise of psychedelics

By: - May 1, 2023

It’s a hard truth of American politics that many state and federal lawmakers base their decisions and votes almost exclusively on how it will impact their own political futures. Often, even hugely momentous, life and death votes are cast with an eye to the polls and the views of TV talking heads, rather than the […]

Western Carolina University Professor Chris Cooper discusses early contenders in the 2024 elections

By: - May 1, 2023

Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper discusses the fast-approaching 2024 election cycle — including the likelihood of a Biden- Trump rematch, the GOP gubernatorial primary in North Carolina, and the impact that the debate over abortion rights is likely to have.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning discusses reproductive freedom, the debt ceiling and a rise in antisemitism

By: - May 1, 2023

A recent ruling by a Texas federal judge sought to end the access American women have enjoyed for more than two decades to the safe and effective abortion medication known as Mifepristone. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has – at least for the time being – stayed the ruling. But  Congresswoman Kathy Manning believes the stakes […]

A view from above the North Carolina Senate

Obscenity bill heads to the NC Senate amid concerns of how broadly it could be applied

By: - May 1, 2023

The North Carolina Senate could vote as early as today on a controversial bill that would increase the penalty for disseminating obscenity while knowingly in the presence of a minor. The “Prevent Harm to Children Act” has raised concern among Democratic lawmakers and some advocates about the need for the change and how it might […]

The NC Legislative Building

Weekend reads: Billions more for school vouchers, denying treatment on moral grounds, and three blockbuster court rulings

By: - April 30, 2023

In this issue: 1. Senate advances bill to to spend billions of public money on private school vouchers North Carolina is moving to a “backpack” school funding model to allow parents to take state education dollars to the schools of their choice, even private ones, says Sen. Michael Lee, a New Hanover County Republican. Lee […]

As NC legislators target “obscenity,” the nation’s top librarian has her say

By: - April 26, 2023

Members of the House Judiciary committee passed legislation Tuesday that would increase the severity of punishment for intentionally disseminating obscenity while knowingly in the presence of minors. The ‘Prevent Harm to Children’ act (Senate Bill 579) would increase the penalty from a Class I felony to a Class H for violations. The brief conversation in […]