Notice the difference in how I framed the legal challenge in my headline, versus how the News & Observer framed it:
Can an NC citizen trespass in a building owned by the people of NC? That is the question.
Progressive patron Jim Goodmon's station, WRAL, did a better job:
Former NAACP head fighting trespass charge from arrest at General Assembly
William Barber - the former leader of the Moral Monday protests that leftists flung at the North Carolina legislature for the better part of 4 years - wants a jury to clear him of trespass charges. Prosecutors say the judge should decide.
"[The Legislative Building on] Jones Street is the people's house," he said. "Those are not private offices. That's not like your private business. You are there to do the work of the people, and the people have a constitutional command to come and instruct their legislators."
Of course, Barber wasn't simply walking into an office to chat with lawmakers.
He was whipping a mob of hundreds - if not thousands - to pile into the legislative chambers and offices, screaming non-stop in order to prevent the body from working.
Or should I say... preventing the body from doing the people's work.
Barber had agreed to stay away from the legislative building:
Following his arrest, Barber was banned from going inside the Legislative Building as a condition of his release from jail. But a judge ended that ban in April.
Remember, the explicit tactic of the weekly protests was to get arrested. This would create "earned media" coverage every week.
The goal was to prevent Republicans from governing as much as possible until Democrats could rebuild their party from its wreckage of scandal and corruption.
But I see we're all supposed to pretend it was about something else. The N&O headline writer wants us to consider it through the platitudinous lens of "the people's house." This is how Barber and the left want us to view the matter.
It's why they want it to go to a jury. They want Barber to be able to preach about free speech and the right to assemble, ignoring what his behavior was explicitly designed to do. Prosecutors understand this, and say the judge should decide the case to avoid that kind of populist thumb on the scale of justice.
Because if you consider this to be a simple case of a political agitator creating a nuisance in order to shut down the legal and necessary work of a governmental body, it's really pretty clear that Barber is guilty.
And, by the way, the left is really not going to like these new rules when the right start employing them, too.
Pete's Prep: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
- From WSPA-TV: "Some local and state advocates gathered in Hendersonville Monday calling for an end to an agreement between their leaders and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as I.C.E."
- WLOS reports: the cost of cleaning up graffiti in Asheville is about $75,000 during the summer.
- Jim Geraghty at National Review argues that the albatross to the conservative movement that few want to talk about is how much money (about $127 to $177 million) has gone to scam PACs.
- From Science.com: We strapped cameras to cats to see how they behave when they're not around humans. Some surprising findings!
- NC Civitas: "The Senate budget proposal includes a partial repeal of state Certificate of Need laws (CON). Currently, North Carolina’s CON laws are the fourth most restrictive in the nation. CON laws require medical care providers to obtain permission from the state before expanding or opening facilities, as well as purchasing equipment."
- From the Carolina Journal: "Numerous studies have shown evidence that when hospitals consolidate, patients pay higher prices for procedures.... A significant catalyst in the hospital consolidation phenomenon is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare."