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Rep. Ted Davis tried to block protections for survivors of rape using technicality.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) asked legislators to vote no on an amendment to one of his bills meant to clarify ambiguities in NC’s laws covering survivors of sexual assault or rape. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), offered protections for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.”

I don't believe I have the authority to change the language," Davis said, claiming the amendment was not relevant to the rest of his bill.

After Davis’s request, the majority of Republicans voted against offering legal protections for “date rape” survivors. The amendment passed by two votes, 56-54.

Beasley’s amendment “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.”

Republican leadership frequently scraps bills and completely rewrites them to avoid public oversight. Republicans used this method to pass several of their most controversial measures; for example, they transformed a motorcycle safety bill into one of the nation’s most restrictive pieces of anti-abortion legislation in the middle of the night.

This year they used this method to block debate and amendments on the budget rather than allow rank-and-file members of their own party and any member of the minority party the opportunity to submit changes.

Davis supported most additions of unrelated measures, voting for the 2018 budget and for the 2013 “motorcyclevagina” bill. So, why the change when it came protecting survivors of rape?

Even though he tried to block an amendment that would protect survivors of sexual assault or rape by claiming it was unrelated to the bill, Davis voted in favor of this kind of “tacked on” amendment in the past.

Davis voted to change the way the governor appointed district court judges in an amendment added to a bill about medical care in prisons. Davis voted for the bill and for the amendment that made the unrelated change.

Davis was comfortable with an unrelated measure that cut disaster relief funds by $500,000to litigate HB2, but couldn’t stomach adding protections for survivors of sexual assault to an unrelated bill.