Both of North Carolina’s two largest newspapers are featuring editorials this morning calling on the state’s Republican legislative leaders to abandon their destructive and illegal redistricting scheme.
Here’s Raleigh’s News & Observer:
As a constitutional scholar, Republican state Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews is a good dentist (his actual profession). The same goes for his skills as an architect of congressional and legislative district maps.
Now, thanks to blatant gerrymandering of the state’s congressional districts – something Republicans knew they were doing when they drew new Republican-flavored maps after the 2010 census – North Carolina is in a legal mess. A federal judges’ panel has ruled that two congressional districts, the 1st and the 12th, are unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering to reduce the influence of black voters by packing them into certain districts….
Rucho says the ruling could throw elections ‘into chaos.’ It was he and his Republican mates on Jones Street who tempted chaos. Osteen seemed to repudiate the senator’s view.
There now are five federal lawsuits involving North Carolina’s voting maps and challenges to voting suppression laws such as voter ID, along with the absurd redrawing of district lines for the Greensboro City Council and the Wake County school board. All because Republicans in power couldn’t resist the temptation to put the fix in on elections to help preserve their power.
And this is from the Charlotte Observer in an editorial that also derides the legislature’s heavy handed attempted power grab vis a vis the Governor:
“When a parent reprimands a child for bad behavior, the child has a choice: Straighten up and fly right, or dig in and double down.
Ten days ago, six of North Carolina’s seven Supreme Court justices (three Republicans, three Democrats) agreed that the legislature had overstepped its authority by giving itself, rather than the governor, appointment power over executive-branch commissions.
Exactly one week later, three federal judges on Friday agreed that the legislature had passed an unconstitutionally gerrymandered map of congressional districts.
These are distinct cases, but in each multiple judges found that the legislature acted unconstitutionally in wielding its power.”
The editorial goes on to call on legislative leaders to confirm McCrory appointees they’ve been holding hostage and, even more importantly, to abandon their commitment to gerrymandering and to move to enact nonpartisan redistricting: Read more