Yesterday a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case of Common Cause v Rucho involving North Carolina’s redistricting maps. The legislature has 20 days to come up with new maps or the court will force the special master on them again.
“We find that the General Assembly drew and enacted the 2016 plan with intent to subordinate the interests of non-Republican voters and entrench Republican control of North Carolina’s congressional delegation,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jim Wynn wrote in the majority portion of the opinion.
The panel ruled that the new maps drawn by the General Assembly constituted an “unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.”
Of course, they did. Read the order here.
Now the special master maps which favor Democrats politically have a clear path for use. I’m getting ahead of myself here. Remember, the maps had to be redrawn because it was determined there was a racial gerrymander that affected certain districts. Now the courts are saying you can’t political gerrymander either – which by the way has not been found to be unconstitutional.
SCOTUS hearing two cases like this one right now and it’s already been stated by Sen. Hise that NC will appeal this ruling.
This ruling, being based on “partisan gerrymandering” is interesting. The same panel, without giving a reason, decided that a special master would be imposed on North Carolina to ‘fix’ the state’s voting maps. Here’s the interesting part: the special master’s maps were drawn in a partisan manner benefiting Democrats.
NCGOP put out this statement:
“The 2017 congressional map kept 87 of North Carolina’s 100 counties whole, and divides only 12 precincts, to achieve one person one vote. A “gerrymander” is by definition and common understanding, a strange looking “monster” drawing. This map is clearly not that. Judge Wynn is not being a judge, he is acting as a pundit by trying to impose his liberal beliefs instead of making a judicial ruling. Once again, unaccountable federal judges are attempting to throw North Carolina’s elections into chaos by adopting radical, untested new theories at the eleventh hour. This must be appealed.” – NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes
And here’s the NCDP, gloating: