Attorney and former Howard University Professor Morris (“Moe”) Davis has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the 11th Congressional District seat.
Lawyer with Military, Civilian Experience
Davis, a 1980 graduate of Appalachian State University, is a former federal Administrative Law Judge who ordered Enterprise Rent-a-Car of Baltimore, to pay over $6.6 million to more than two thousands job trainee applicants who were discriminated against because of their race. It was the largest award of back wages in the history of the Department of Labor’s federal contract compliance program.
The company “engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against African American applicants for these entry-level management jobs” for more than a decade, according to the Department of Labor. The total cost of payments—earnings, benefits, and interest—will be about $16.3 million.
Davis is currently a candidate in the March 3 Democratic primary for the 11th District (NC) Congressional seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Mark Meadows (R). He earned his J.D. in 1983 from NC Central University School of Law. He later undertook specialized US Army Judge Advocate General training in 1991-92, and served in Wyoming, Texas, Alabama, and in Saudi Arabia, before being assigned to Guantanamo, Cuba.
A Voice for Morality, Against Torture
Davis resigned as chief prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions in 2007, following the adoption of the notorious “torture memo” approved during the Bush-Cheney administration. He later explained his opposition to torture in an op-ed, “Here’s why I resigned as the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo,” in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 4, 2017.
In addition to his work as an attorney, Davis has been a public advocate for ethics and morality in government. He has spoken out against torture and against letting perpetrators off the hook for their crimes.
He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America; on NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News; and globally on the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Company, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
After retiring from the military and then working for the Congressional Research Service, Davis taught for four years as Assistant Professor of Legal Writing and National Security Law at Howard University Law School.
The 2020 election will be the first time in a decade that a Democrat has a good chance to win back the 11th-district seat. Rep. Mark Meadows, 61, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, first won in 2012 after then-Congressman Heath Shuler (D) retired. Following the 2010 census, when the GOP also took control of the state House and Senate, Asheville and Buncombe County, more liberal than much of the rest of the district, were split between the 10th and 11th districts, thus diluting the votes of African Americans and progressives in the region.
Last fall, under judicial rulings by the state Supreme Court, the legislature was ordered to redraw district lines in a way that put the city and county back together, and could make it much harder for a Republican to hold the seat. Following that ruling, Meadows decided not to run again.
For more information on Davis, please visit moedavisforcongress.com.