The Good: Immigration

On Friday, a California federal judge ordered that all undocumented children in ICE custody for more than 20 days must be released from the family detention centers and shelters run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. There are over 100 children currently in the ICE detention centers and another 500 in the ORR’s shelters. These often close-quartered confinements that give Covid-19 a chance to thrive—especially since there hasn’t been comprehensive testing in these centers. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee wrote in her decision that the ICE facilities were “on fire” and that “there is no more time for half measures.” The children must be released by July 17. While there’s still no word on whether adult family members will be released with their children, the measure is still a step in the right direction.

The Bad: Glenwood South Bars

We know, we know—everyone is getting antsy in quarantine, especially with phase 2 still in effect for another three weeks. For some bars, this meant throwing caution to the wind. On Friday night, two Raleigh bars—Cornerstone Tavern and Alchemy—on Glenwood South opened in defiance of a judicial order requiring bars to stay closed amid the pandemic, as well as a veto from Governor Cooper on a GOP-backed legislative attempt to reopen them. Both bars were said to be operating as “private clubs” according to the NC Bar and Tavern Association and required masks inside the establishments, but videos on social media have shown that Raleigh bar-hoppers aren’t the best at following mask mandates and social distancing guidelines.

The Awful: The General Assembly

Last Friday was a busy one for the North Carolina General Assembly, and several of their decisions may haunt the state for years to come. At 3:00 a.m. Friday morning, the state legislature passed a bill that keeps death-investigation records from falling under the Freedom of Information Act. They say the idea is to make it easier for the state medical examiner to obtain records of unexpected deaths, including deaths while in custody or prison. But in effect, it means the records will be kept from the press and families before they reach the medical examiner’s office.

If you thought that was disheartening, in a different kind of power play the GA approved Art Pope—a multimillionaire Republican power broker and Koch brothers associate—as the newest member of the UNC System Board of Governors. While a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, he sued a Black Student Movement leader for interrupting KKK leader David Duke during a campus visit.