Saturday, September 28, 2019

Another Challenge To Gerrymandering, Now in State Courts

Yesterday, the National Redistricting Foundation, on behalf of individual voters from across the 13 Congressional districts in North Carolina, filed a lawsuit in Wake Superior Court alleging that those 13 Congressional districts are also illegal partisan gerrymanders. The suit attempts to capitalize on the very recent case decided by a three-judge panel of state judges which led to the redrawing of some maps for NC General Assembly seats, both House and Senate.

Although the suit asks the court to order the redrawing of the Congressional district maps in time for the 2020 elections, some observers expressed doubt that enough time remains for a court to take additional action affecting the 2020 election calendar. Candidate filing to run in 2020 will open on December 2nd -- barely more than two months away -- and will end on December 20th.

That's a very tight window for courts to take on something as impactful as throwing out 13 Congressional district maps.

So, no, I don't have a lot of hope that this newest lawsuit is going to accomplish anything for the 2020 elections.


Anonymous said...

I must say, Jerry, that your present concerns re: gerrymandering are so ironic, even laughable. From my great grandfathers', grandfather's, father's, and most of my lifetime, I am 70+, there was blatant gerrymandering throughout these generations. And your Democratic party was dominant in the NC legislatures during these lifetimes. Now, in just the last few years, you and your colleagues are suddenly so concerned re: gerrymandering, and of course, your ideologues in the court system are your allies. Again, I find this sudden change of heart ironic, and yes, hypocritical.

Anonagain said...

I disagree with the comment from Anonymous. It was a different world 50 years ago than it is now. In the 1950s and early 1960s, it would have been hard to find enough Republicans in N.C. to make up one Congressional district. That was before the major realignment in the South began. I’m sure that Democrats gerrymandered some districts, but after 2010 the Republicans were on steroids. They had access to sophisticated computer algorithms that could split districts at the precinct level. NC is pretty much an evenly divided state. We should not have 10 Republicans and only 3 Democrats in the House.

Anonymous said...

Anonagain, your remembrance of the 50s and 60s is flawed. I remember that time period very well. The actual number of registered party members frequently does not reflect how the electorate privately votes. Certainly by the early 60s, change was already very noticeable. And your concession re: Democrats gerrymandering "some districts" is putting it very mildly to say the least; a blatant practice that occurred continually for many previous decades dating back to the late 19th, early 20th century. And your Democrat colleagues in the legislature continued this gerrymandering practice even in recent years prior to the GOP gaining the majority.

Speaking of sophisticated techniques, how about just aboveboard, public redrawing of the maps? A recent news report asked why the Dems were in the basement of the legislature redrawing the district maps, which is a violation of a court order and a rule that these practices are to done in public and on the main House floor.

Anonagain said...

So, Anonymous, it sounds like you agree that gerrymandering is a bad thing. So why don’t we get rid of so that neither party can ever do it again?