NC Gerrymandered Map Ruled Unconstitutional By Panel Of Judges

13 January, 2018, 06:57 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • The Washington Post  The Washington Post

Roy Cooper railed against gerrymandering in his home state Thursday after federal judges said this week that congressional districts would have to be redrawn because they were unconstitutionally partisan.

But Republicans plan to fight the ruling, to the Raleigh News & Observer.

It served as the latest example of what the state's GOP has done to hijack the voting process by nothing less than a political coup-or a deliberate effort to turn a once-purple state with the South's most progressive voting laws into a red-run vote-suppressing bastion. This marks the first time that a federal court has overturned congressional district maps because of partisan gerrymandering.

The ruling blocks the state from conducting any elections under the 2016 map and orders the state's General Assembly to redraw congressional districts by January 24 for the 2018 elections.

Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the state Republican Party, added more evidence of excessive partisanship with his incendiary response to the decision, declaring that Wynn was "waging a personal, partisan war on North Carolina Republican voters".

Republicans were critical of the ruling.

The congressional maps that were thrown out this week were drafted in a special legislative session in 2016 after the state lost the racial gerrymander cases. In other words, there has to be a discriminatory effect, or discriminatory impact.

The line got a laugh, but it was considered proof that the gerrymandering was intended.

But when it comes to the U.S. House, Republicans have dominated, winning 13 of the state's 18 seats in each of the last three elections.

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It will be up to the nation's top court to sort out which ruling was right - or whether there's some wrinkle that makes them both valid.

The problem North Carolina has is people who crowed too much about their accomplishment.

North Carolina voters have elected congressional representatives in three election cycles this decade with maps that have been declared unconstitutional by the courts. They were "motivated by invidious partisan intent" is how the judges describe it. It's been alternating Republican and Democratic governors, is represented in the U.S. Senate by a member of each party and voted for each of the last two presidents - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Donald Trump.

That's rich-accusing a federal appeals court of exactly what the GOP has done this decade.

The Supreme Court already heard arguments in one partisan gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin.

The plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case plan to appeal in a case that would go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"There's all sorts of evidence, mostly from statements of people who were involved in drawing these lines, that what they meant to do was draw the lines so Republicans would win more seats than they would otherwise win", Johnson said.

"First, that there was intent to gerrymander, that the legislature, in drawing the lines, meant to keep one political party in power nearly without regard to what the popular vote is".

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