This article first appeared at American Lens News on June 5, 2017.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a ruling by a lower court that ordered North Carolina to hold a special election in 2017.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling striking down 28 North Carolina legislative districts as cases of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. But the high court has rejected the idea of holding special legislative elections this year.
The Supreme Court had issued a stay on Jan. 10 blocking a three-judge panel’s order of a special election. Today’s unsigned Supreme Court order chides the trial-court panel for ordering a special 2017 legislative election without making a convincing argument why that remedy is needed.
Carolina Journal included the statement given by Governor Roy Cooper:
Gov. Roy Cooper responded to the ruling with an official statement. “Whether the election is November 2018 or earlier, redrawing the districts is good for our democracy by leveling the playing field for free and fair elections,” the statement reads. “The people should be able to choose their representatives in competitive districts instead of the representatives being able to choose the people in lopsided, partisan districts.”
It bears mentioning that former President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder are continuing to raise hundreds of millions for their ‘National Democratic Redistricting Committee’.
Expect to see this committee start making waves in North Carolina.
Update: Statement from the NC GOP
“Today the Supreme Court affirmed what we already knew, that the 4th Circuit needs better judges. Holding special off-year elections would have disenfranchised millions of voters who cast votes in November of 2016,” said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes.
“Approximately 4.5 million citizens cast votes for the General Assembly in 2016. The special election would have thrown those votes into the garbage can and replaced them with maybe 10% of that total. While we still contend that the North Carolina General Assembly drew fair and legal legislative maps that followed all precedent and court direction available at the time the maps were drawn, the caviler way that the 4th Circuit ordered a new election, discounting millions of votes, was an affront to democracy. We are glad the Supreme Court obliterated this partisan ruling, which would have allowed Democrats to deceitfully seize elections they did not win at the ballot box.” – NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes