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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.

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Arguing that it essential for the protection of the justice system as a whole and the principle of equal justice under the law, a group of nonpartisan North Carolina civil rights groups filed papers with the Supreme Court today calling on Justice Paul Newby to recuse himself in the legislative redistricting case currently before the court.

According to Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP:

“If justice and fairness are to prevail, the integrity of the court’s justices and the proceedings cannot be influenced by money or have even the appearance of being sold to the highest bidder. Whenever this possibility arises, we must call on the court to examine itself and if necessary recuse any justice or judge whose ability to rule fairly has been tempted or tampered with.”

Barber, Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina and Melvin Montford of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (pictured at left) spoke outside the Supreme Court after the papers were filed.

For more details on the request of the advocacy groups and their arguments, check out Sharon McCloskey’s article by clicking here.  You can read Barber’s entire statement by clicking here.

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Yesterday we reported that despite casting 76,525 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates, North Carolinians will be represented by nine or ten Republicans and only three or four Democrats in the U.S. House. The reason for this, of course, is the absurd gerrymandering performed by the GOP legislature.

Not surprisingly, however, North Carolina is far from the only state to suffer such a fate. As the folks at Think Progress report, it looks like Americans as a whole voted for a slightly Democratic or evenly divided U.S. House of Representatives.

The current count: Repubs 233, Dems 192.

(Photo courtesy of Think Progress).

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For a non-partisan election, there’s a lot of conservative money being funneled toward the campaign to re-elect Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby. You just have to follow the thread.

And with just days left until the election, the superPAC NC Justice for All — the largest donor to the superPAC NC Judicial Coalition, formed to support the re-election of Newby – still has hundreds of thousands to spend.

It had little in its coffers through July, but since then the dollars have been rolling in. According to its third quarter report filed with the state board of elections on Oct. 29, Justice for All NC had received more than $1 million in contributions through Oct. 20, with another $338,000 posted after that date.

The bulk of that money — $860,000 — came from the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington D.C., a group with a keen interest in the outcome of the redistricting case likely to land in the state Supreme Court over the next year or two. That’s an interest shared by several state conservatives who’ve donated to the RSLC – in September alone, Art Pope’s Variety Stores donated $150,000, western Carolina businessman Phil Drake, $50,000, and Bob Luddy (who also donated $25,000 to the Judicial Coalition) $50,000.

Thus far, Justice for All has spent $720,000 of that money to help the Judicial Coalition foot the $1.6 million bill for the airing of the “Newby Tough but Fair” banjo ads. It has spent little other than that, with $25,000 going to polling and another $16,000 on legal and accounting fees.

Also donating in a big way to Justice for All to help push Newby across the finish line are the pro-school choice American Federation for Children in Washington ($100,000); tobacco affiliate RAI Services ($100,000); pro-medical liability reform group North Carolinians for Affordable Health Care ($100,000); medical liability insurance company Medical Mutual ($75,000); and a number of smaller state PACS and individuals.

Justice for All was formed back in May by Amy B. Ellis — who also formed Vote for Marriage NC back in Nov. 2011 and ACT NOW in 2009. The committee’s stated purpose is to “promote justice for all citizens and support qualified candidates for judicial office.”