Friday, November 04, 2011

The Lawsuit Against Redistricting

The lawsuit filed yesterday in Superior Court of Wake County against the Republican redistricting of North Carolina ... was filed in the state court system, rather than the federal, because the suit alleges that the redistricting maps violate state law in these three particulars:
1. Divided Counties: These maps violate North Carolina’s whole county provision by dividing more counties than necessary.

2. Divided Precincts: These maps unnecessarily split precincts to create districts. More than 2,000,000 citizens live in precincts that have been split between two and sometimes three different districts.

3. Packing: These maps segregate black voters into a small number of districts. Approximately half North Carolina’s black citizens have been packed into three congressional districts, 10 Senate districts and 25 House districts. This is not only illegal, it also turns back the clock on decades of progress that North Carolina has made in race relations.
As to the "preclearance" granted by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, it's irrelevant as far as this lawsuit goes. Sen. Josh Stein, Democratic Whip in the NC Senate who represents Wake County, issued this statement:
“Make no mistake: Nothing that happened in Washington, DC [on Nov. 1] changes the unlawful and racially divisive maps that the Republicans passed in the North Carolina legislature. The Department of Justice examined a very narrow federal issue that concerns only 40 of our 100 counties. The Republican maps still violate the state constitution’s whole county provision and they illegally segregate voters according to race without cause. The Department of Justice did not consider either violation during its preclearance review because it was not authorized to. These and other violations will be fully considered by the courts, and we are quite confident that once the facts are in full view, the courts will guarantee the people of North Carolina fair and legal maps at the end of this process.”
The lawsuit linked in the 1st paragraph above is actually a second suit filed by different plantiffs. The text of the lawsuit discussed in this post in here.

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