Politics

Senate Candidate In North Carolina Has A History Of Defending Bars Banning Military Members

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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While serving as executive of the American Civil Liberties Union affiliate in North Carolina, Democratic Senate candidate Deborah Ross defended bars that arbitrarily banned military servicemembers from entrance.

Her actionsare coming back to haunt her now that she’s running for a seat in the Senate in a state that has a strong military tradition, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

Back in 1996, bars in Wilmington, North Carolina, started refusing service and banning anyone who even looked like a servicemember from entrance as part of a general “no-military” policy.

These bars complained about violent Marines as justification for the new rules, and so bars ended up tossing out people who even looked like they were in the military because of a boot camp-like haircut.

“How can they pick a certain class of people?” Marine Capt. George Josephs said at the time. “That’d be the same as saying only people who make a certain amount of money can come in. They could just as easily say they don’t want blacks in or Jewish people in.”

According to the Wilmington paper Morning Star in 1996, Ross said that the bars weren’t violating any laws with their policies, as military servicemembers did not qualify as a protected class, since being a servicemember is not an “immutable” attribute like race or gender.

Her defense of bars wasn’t her only slight directed at the military. While at the ACLU, she ignored a case from a Vietnam War veteran, who was informed he could not flag the American flag on his own property.

“I have made it clear that I will not submit to the removal of my flag and pole, and That I am willing to protect my rights with what ever means needed,” veteran Robert McClure wrote to Ross in 2001. “I am however only one person standing alone at this time and I need help.”

But she did find time in her busy case schedule to defend people’s right to burn the American flag.

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for incumbent GOP Sen. Richard Burr, told The Free Beacon that “There was one common theme during Deborah Ross’ dangerous ACLU career: she’ll stand up for convicted criminals and sex offenders, but can’t be bothered to help veterans or military members in need.”

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