Thursday, June 29, 2023

We Won! (But We Still Lose)


Paul Newby

The people of North Carolina won in Moore v. Harper. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that a state legislature can't do anything it dreams up about elections and voting without facing judicial review. But our continuing problem in North Carolina is more basic than the ability to have judicial review of gerrymandering, because we have a state Supreme Court that's more permissive than hippy parents in the 1960s. Our Supremes have already signaled that it has no interest in reviewing -- and heavens no! Never forbidding -- whatever Berger/Moore wants to do with gerrymandering and ballot access.

Chief Justice Paul Newby leads a solid 5-2 partisan gang on the NC Supreme Court. In April they proved their allegiance by reversing an earlier decision that found partisan gerrymandering illegal in North Carolina. No, no, no, Newby and his pals said. Partisan gerrymandering is perfectly legal, and we really regret our previous colleagues' busybody interference in the business of the General Assembly.

So we're all trapped and waiting, like teenagers in a cabin in the woods in the last reel of a slasher flick, waiting for the next round of redistricting of all congressional and General Assembly seats that the Republicans have promised we'll see in September ... or maybe October ... or at the latest November, because candidates will have to file to run in those new districts by December 4, 2023. What are the odds that Republicans will wait to the last minute to let Democrats know the full extent of their disenfranchisement, while favored Republican candidates will be very much in the know?

This is only part of the reason I trust the gods will eventually punish Berger/Moore, because nothing attracts divine retribution like arrogance.

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