Michael Bitzer

Political Columnist

Dr. Michael Bitzer is an associate professor of politics and history at Catawba College, where he also serves as the 2011-2012 Swink Professor for Excellence in Classroom Teaching and the chair of the department of history & politics.  A native South Carolinian, he holds graduate degrees in both history and political science from Clemson University and The University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Bitzer’s studies have focused on Southern politics, campaigns and elections, and a variety of topics in American politics.

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The Party Line
3:35 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

With Nomination In Hand, Foxx Faces GOP Delay Machine

Michael Bitzer

It was the worst-kept secret in Charlotte politics. Anthony Foxx’s nomination as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation is reality.

Coming a day before his 42nd birthday, Mayor Foxx’s rise has been calculated since his first run to lead the Charlotte back in 2009, followed by overseeing a fairly successful Democratic National Convention.

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The Party Line
10:14 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Pols Adept At Picking Voters

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the NC House of Representatives to hand over the redistricting process to an independent commission, and thus give up one of the most important powers that any majority party has: Pre-determining which party will win each district through political gerrymandering.

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The Party Line
2:42 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Miranda And The Public Safety Exception

Michael Bitzer

With the situation in Boston having come to a close, the next phase of the case against the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will proceed into the judicial system.  But before the courtroom proceedings have commenced, a debate began over the actions of law enforcement and the legal route for the suspect.

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The Party Line
12:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

McCrory's First 100 Days

Michael Bitzer

Now that we have reached the first 100 days of Governor McCrory’s administration (the mythical standard of time to pass judgment, based on FDR’s break-neck pace of New Deal legislating), some early thoughts on how the unified Republican state government, especially the state’s chief executive, is doing.

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The Party Line
10:09 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

A Look At High Court's Opinion-Crafting Process

Michael Bitzer

So now the briefs and oral arguments are filed in the same-sex marriage cases with the U.S. Supreme Court—now what?

As probably one of the least transparent institutions of our government, the court’s decision-making process is left solely to the nine members of the high court.  But we do know, from the research on judicial politics in political science, that this period between the court’s public arguments and the release of a decision (expected in late June) can be just as crucial as any public discussion.

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The Party Line
11:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Religion Resolution Aptly Introduced On April 1st

Michael Bitzer

As you may have heard by now, a joint resolution has been introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly that proclaims religious liberty, especially as it relates to a court case coming out of Rowan County. 

The resolution goes through a number of points, which all deserve some explanation; first, the resolution begins:

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The Party Line
5:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

GOP Has Long Way To Go In Appealing To Minorities

Michael Bitzer

In their rather blunt assessment of the debacle that was the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee came to a simple conclusion. It can’t continue down the same path and remain politically relevant.

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The Party Line
4:52 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

A Legal Primer As High Court Decides Gay Marriage

Michael Bitzer

In his 18th century tour of the new American republic, Alexis de Tocqueville commented that most controversies eventually arrive in court. Over its history, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld de Tocqueville’s observation in key battles, both political and social. 

And the justices on the high court are preparing to confront a new set of controversies. 

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The Party Line
1:59 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

In Regard To Rowan Commissioners, 'Bless Their Hearts'

Michael Bitzer

In the Bible belt that is the South, the role of church and state are often intertwined in such a manner as to appear one in the same.  But when it comes to divorcing the Christian faith from government practices, you begin to see the truth in the expression “the devil made me do it.”

Typically, the South is the only region in the nation where a majority of voters describe themselves as either “born-again” or “Evangelical Christians” in the exit polls.

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The Party Line
3:50 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Should Consider Voter ID Compromise

Michael Bitzer

With the GOP-led NC General Assembly beginning a “deliberative” consideration of requiring photo identification when voting, the heated rhetoric on both sides has only inflamed the passions of both supporters and opponents to Voter ID laws.

Anecdotal examples of people claiming to have voted multiple times are charged by one side, while the other side decrying the proposed legislation with charges of “we will fight them in the streets.”

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