Tuesday, February 15, 2022

NC Supremes' Full Opinion in Harper v. Hall


Justice Robin Hudson

Raleigh, N.C. (Feb. 14, 2022) — The North Carolina Supreme Court released its full opinion in the case Harper et al. v. Hall et al. Monday, striking down the state legislature’s discriminatory state and Congressional maps. The court first signaled its 4-3 ruling on Feb. 4 in an abbreviated order setting guidelines and a timeframe for lawmakers to redraw voting maps.

Click here to read the full 217-page opinion.

The landmark opinion, penned by Justice Robin Hudson, and joined by Justices Earls, Ervin, and Morgan, sets a clear precedent that partisan gerrymandering violates North Carolina’s Constitution.

“Partisan gerrymandering creates the same harm as malapportionment, which has previously been held to violate the state constitution: some peoples’ votes have more power than others,” wrote Hudson. “Today, we hold that the enacted maps violate several rights guaranteed to the people by our state Constitution.”

The Court also addressed its role in deciding political questions, noting that, “for a time, federal courts initially forswore virtually any role in the ‘political thicket of apportionment.’ ”

“The Court’s reasons for entering the thicket are relevant today: the Supreme Court recognized that absent its intervention to enforce constitutional rights, our system of self-governance would be representative and responsive to the people’s will in name only.”

(Taken from the press release from the Southern Coalition of Social Justice)

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