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In a statute hailed as a major and ancestral “victory for democracy,” a sovereign justice on Tuesday deemed North Carolina’s 2016 congressional map unconstitutional on the grounds that it was drawn to distinguish against Democratic voters—marking the first time a sovereign justice has struck down a redistricting devise for narrow-minded gerrymandering.
“Every American deserves illustration in Washington, but the gerrymandered map struck down by the justice now attacked much of the state of a representative voice in the nation’s capital,” pronounced Karen Hobert Flynn, boss of Common Cause, one of the advocacy groups the authorised plea against North Carolina’s Republican Party. “Partisan gerrymanders are utterly simply undemocratic.”
The three-judge panel’s decision (pdf) on Tuesday may have been singular in its mount against extreme narrow-minded redistricting, but it was not the first time North Carolina’s Republican-drawn congressional map has been struck down for violating the inherent rights of voters. As Prema Levy of Mother Jones points out, “the state’s prior map was deemed illegal for being racially gerrymandered in 2016″—years after the map allowed the GOP to take a vast infancy of the state’s House seats.
Following the 2016 ruling, North Carolina Republicans explicitly looked to structure the state’s congressional map to give themselves a “partisan advantage”—resulting in what the Brennan Center for Justice called “one of the misfortune narrow-minded gerrymanders of the decade.”
North Carolina electorate have scored a big feat against one of the misfortune narrow-minded gerrymanders of the decade. https://t.co/Xl3uhCRbBY
— Brennan Center (@BrennanCenter) Jan 10, 2018
“I acknowledge openly that this would be a domestic gerrymander, which is not against the law,” Rep. David Lewis (R-N.C.), authority of the state House’s Redistricting Committee, declared during a 2016 meeting. “I consider electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So we drew this map to help encourage what we consider is better for the country.”
The North Carolina district court’s integrity on Tuesday that extreme narrow-minded gerrymandering is, in fact, unconstitutional—violating the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment, and the Election Clause of Article we of the Constitution—is likely to benefit inhabitant stress in the coming months, as the Supreme Court is now deliberation two similar narrow-minded gerrymandering cases in Wisconsin and Maryland.
This decision is so thorough. It tells the story of how unobstructed narrow-minded gerrymandering hijacked democracy in North Carolina. The decision is prolonged but worth the read. https://t.co/H0RfzOAdcw https://t.co/ZidOKzAwFa
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) Jan 10, 2018
North Carolina Republicans are approaching to interest to the Supreme Court to put the statute on hold until the other two cases are decided—a check that would concede the stream map to sojourn in place by the 2018 midterm elections.
J. Michael Bitzer, highbrow of domestic scholarship at Catawba College, told the New York Timesthat if Tuesday’s statute is upheld, it “gives wish to Democrats” looking to wring control of the state’s legislature from the GOP.
“I can suppose the Republicans being furious, but they have to see domestic reality, and it’s not just in the next two weeks: It’s come November,” Bitzer concluded.
Jake Johnson is an eccentric writer. Follow him on Twitter: @wordsofdissent