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A wake-up call from the redistricting decision

If citizens of North Carolina needed yet another wake-up call, after all that’s transpired in recent weeks in the General Assembly, here’s one from the very beginning of the opinion from the three judges who’ve upheld the redistricting plans:

While one might suggest that there are more expedient, and less manipulative, methods of apportioning voters, our redistricting process, as it has been for decades, is ultimately the product of democratic elections and is a compelling reminder that, indeed, “elections have consequences.”

And the decision itself is, likewise, a compelling reminder of why courts matter.

12 Comments

  1. Doug

    July 8, 2013 at 10:39 am

    That is a very true statement. In the past we have been under the corrupt, oppressive, and partisan reign of the democrat party in NC. Unfortunately they do not like it when the shoe is on the other foot. I assume we will get more calls for a “non-partisan” approach now that the electorate has gotten their way? Where were these calls for the past 50-100 years?

  2. NCCaniac42

    July 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    At least when the Dems did the gerrymandering.. it wasn’t nearly as crazy as it is now. It is less balanced then it was in the past. We have 10 years to deal with this. It is time to go the way of California and have a non-partisan, population based method of determining districts. For the next decade we will have representation in the NCGA and the US Congress that has chosen their electorate, not chosen BY their electorate. Sad times in our state. Very sad times.

  3. George Greene

    July 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

    For an appellate court to begin an opinion by saying that IS OUTRAGEOUS. THE WHOLE PURPOSE of constitutional and appellate jurisprudence IS CHECKS AND BALANCES — there are SOME things that the majority MAY NOT do!! But this court was danged if IT was going there — i.e., if it was going to DO ITS JOB.

  4. Tom C

    July 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Apparently one consequence of elections is that the winning party can decide that there won’t be anymore elections.

  5. Katherine Blair

    July 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Is the opinion available to the public?

  6. Doug

    July 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    42,
    Back when this was a big issue on this blog, I posted links to a prior version (I think it was the 1990 or 2000 map) and the current version. There is little difference in the shapes overall between the that one and the current map. Actaully no one on this board could really tell the difference. I challenge you to post two maps blindly and have the majority be able to pick out the current map vs. the prior ones.

  7. Doug

    July 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Heck,
    I will do some research for you just for fun.

    Both of these maps have all kinds of elbows, kinks, and curves. Maybe don’t look at the years in the links…just for funsies!

    http://www.ncleg.net/GIS/Download/District_Plans/DB_2001/House/1992_House_Base_Plan_5/Maps/mapSimple.pdf

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/GIS/Download/District_Plans/DB_2011/House/Lewis-Dollar-Dockham_4/Maps/mapSimple.pdf

  8. Admin

    July 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Katherine, you can read the whole text of the decision here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/152521233/NC-Superior-Court-Redistricting-Decision

  9. Joe Nico

    July 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    This decision was not from an appellate court but from a trial court consisting of 3 Judges appointed by the Democrat NC Chief Justice (as per a law passed several years ago by the Democrat General Assembly). The 3 Judges are all respected NC Superior Court Judges whose statistics are: 2 Democrats and 1 Republican; 2 Men and 1 Woman; 2 Whites and 1 Black. These Judges were unanimous in a very well written 171 page opinion holding that all the districts drawn by the Republican General Assembly are 100% constitutional. Further, these are the same districts that were pre-cleared by the Obama Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act.

  10. Jack

    July 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    If I didn’t know better I’d swear there’s a nationwide conspiratorial effort being enacted upon the people. Having just returned from a three state business trip the political news was the same in each state.

    I’m just glad I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

  11. Keith

    July 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Doug,

    A three year old could identify the differences in those maps. So, to say otherwise is to simply be less than truthful.

    Keith

  12. Doug

    July 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Keith, you seem to be in the same dimension as goober may-may if you do not think those are both just as gerrymandered as each other. Heck, look at Stanly county and that interesting shape going over into Cabarrus. Is that just a joke or gerrymandering? I say the latter.