North Carolina - Legislative Activity
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Senator John Edwards (North Carolina)
- 5/23/02 - John Murtari call's the office
back, leaves a voice mail message for Mr. Kinner asking if the Senator
would call for Congressional Hearings into the need for reform.
- 5/9/2002 - Two weeks earlier we
had faxed the office a letter asking for a meeting (see example
notes here). We met Mr. J. Kyle Kinner, a legislative
assistant for the Senator.
Mr. Kinner offered the same argument that we had heard before:
"that this wasn't a federal issue but this seemed to be a state
government issue". We again said that even though we felt some of
the reforms we were asking for focused on the state run governed
services such as family court and Department of Social Services, that
the more important issue of constitutional rights as specifically
defined in the fourteenth amendment of the constitution as the right to
life and liberty was key and focused on the right to raise our children
as interpreted by the Supreme Court in much of case law.
Also, mentioned was the Mondale Act and CAPTA which are federal
government laws that fuel the out of control systems at the state level.
All of this ran well over state lines. Shannon told her story about the
loss of her children. John mentioned another mother who is a non
custodial parent and her plight in trying to see her children in North
Carolina when she couldn't file papers in family court without an
attorney and couldn't afford one. The county would not appoint her an
attorney unless she had lived in a shelter. Mr. Kinner said he was not
convinced that there was a federal scope in the issues we raised. We
asked if we could stop back again in June to check on the Senator's
opinion about these issues and the packet we were leaving. Mr. Kinner
also suggested that we pursue Senators Hatch, Layhee, and Rockefeller
since they were on a committee that could be helpful.
We told him about a Constitutional Lawyer (Mr.
Chester Darling) who had argued and won cases before the US Supreme
Court who also thought Civil Rights were being violated by the states --
and would be happy to testify before Congress. We asked that the
Senator consider asking for hearings into reform.