For the first time since the Civil War, republicans were in charge of drawing voting districts in North Carolina. And in a move that should have surprised no one, they redrew those lines in a different manner than had democrats.
And in a response that also surprised no one, democrats, voting rights groups and the NAACP sued.
Today they lost:
Raleigh, N.C. — A three-judge panel on Monday upheld legislative and congressional districts drawn by the Republican-dominated General Assembly in 2011, ruling unanimously that the maps were constitutional.
Democrats, the state NAACP and good-government groups had sued to invalidate the maps, saying they were improperly drawn based on racial considerations. The opponents also argued lawmakers too finely split the state, dividing so many local voting precincts that it would create confusion.
But the three Superior Court judges found that those challenging the maps had not showed “a violation of any cognizable equal protection rights of any North Carolina citizens, or groups thereof, will result.”
Frankly, I’m tired of the constant race bating that is pitched whenever issues like this arise. To think that only republicans are guilty of selfishly drawing district line is ignorant. And to think that republicans are doing it to repress some minority is insulting.
I mean, it’s not like the map hadn’t already reviewed, by the now insulting VRA stipulation:
But in 2010, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate and, therefore, redistricting legislation. Former Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat who left office in early 2013, had no say in how the districts were drawn because state law does not give the governor veto authority over redistricting plans.
Republicans leveraged those favorable districts to win super-majorities of both the state House and Senate, as well as capture nine of the state’s U.S. House seats.
After the maps cleared the General Assembly, they were reviewed and “pre-cleared” by the U.S. Justice Department under a procedure laid out by the federal Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Justice Department, whose leadership was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama, found the maps did not hurt the ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice.
In fact, Republican lawmakers frequently cited their need to comply with voting rights law as a reason to create legislative districts that contained high concentrations of minority voters. Plaintiffs challenging the districts said lawmakers were trying to illegally “pack” minority voters into a few districts, diluting their overall influence.
The map was pre-cleared by the US Justice department. Not an organization that is exactly in favor of fairly enforcing republican themes.
We’ll see if there is an appeal.