The most absurd reaction to last week’s gerrymandering ruling

Sen. Ralph Hise

There have been a lot of absurd, over-the-top reactions on the political right to last week’s vitally important and eminently logical ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court striking down the preposterously gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts concocted by Republican legislators. As noted in this morning’s Weekly Briefing, Chief Justice Paul Newby’s nonsensical dissent — a missive that editorials have rightfully described as “ludicrous” and “contorted” — sits near the top of the list.

But another strong contender for tops in this category has to be the head-slapper of a take offered by Republican state Senator Ralph Hise, the Senate’s chief map-drawer and chair of its Redistricting and Elections Committee. As reported without opportunity for retort by the conservative John Locke Foundation’s Carolina Journal outlet, Hise described the ruling — we are not making this up — as part of a vast Democratic Party plot to take over the judiciary for nefarious purposes.

This is from the CJ story:

“Democratic judges, lawyers, and activists have worked in concert to transform the Supreme Court into a policymaking body to impose their political ideas,” Hise said in a prepared statement. “On this and other cases soon to come before them, the justices ‘interpret the Constitution to mean what it would have said if they, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it,’ in the words of former justice Sam Ervin Jr.”

After his service on the N.C. Supreme Court, Ervin won national fame as the U.S. senator who helped expose the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. His grandson, Sam “Jimmy” Ervin IV, is one of the Democratic justices who voted to throw out the election maps.

Hise issued a warning about the Supreme Court’s actions. “This perverse precedent, once set, will be nearly impossible to unwind, as monied interests line up to buy their own justices to set law favorable to them,” he said. “I’m certain Democrats will come to regret it.”

You got that? A powerful politician whose party has: a) made a mockery of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process by blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland for a year and ramming that of Amy Coney Barrett through in just a few weeks, b) made nonpartisan judicial races in our state partisan, c) ended public financing of judicial races, and d) worked assiduously for years with big dark money contributors to turn North Carolina courts into a rubber stamp for its lawless legislature, is accusing Democrats of screwing up the courts.

You really can’t make this stuff up.

One can only imagine what’s next. Pretty soon, Hise’s fellow GOP’ers will be describing the deadly January 6, 2021 invasion of the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn a presidential election as “legitimate political discourse.”

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The most absurd reaction to last week’s gerrymandering ruling