After maps ruling, it’s up to the state Supreme Court to defend democracy in NC
Yesterday, a three-judge Superior Court panel ruled unanimously that the legislative and Congressional maps are constitutional, despite acknowledging that the Republican map drawers crafted pro-Republican partisan gerrymanders.
While the court’s ruling is disappointing, the plaintiffs in the suit are expected to appeal the ruling – moving the case to its next stop: the State Supreme Court.
- “We remain confident that our conclusive evidence of partisan bias, obfuscation, and attacks on Black representation, from expert testimony to the mapmakers’ own admissions, will convince the state’s highest court to protect voters from nefarious efforts to entrench partisan power at the expense of free elections and fair representation,” stated Hilary Harris Klein, an attorney for the plaintiffs, in a press release.
- The recent ruling comes days after the revelation of the existence of secret “concept maps” used to draw parts of North Carolina’s new voting maps by Rep. Destin Hall. The maps’, unseen by the public, convenient “disappearance” have raised questions about a violation of the state’s open records law.
- “Our trial presented overwhelming evidence that the legislature engaged in extreme gerrymandering that would undermine free and fair elections in North Carolina. The evidence clearly showed that Republican legislative leaders brazenly ignored legal requirements designed to protect voting rights for Black North Carolinians,” stated Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina. “If allowed to stand, these extreme gerrymanders would cause profound and lasting harm to the people of our state, especially hurting Black communities, by depriving voters of a voice in choosing their representatives”.
For too long, Republican lawmakers have doubled-down on gerrymandering our voting maps; dividing us into districts serving their political interests instead of our communities’ needs.
Despite the latest ruling, the fight to ensure voters pick their leaders continues.
As President Biden and Vice President Harris challenged our leaders to move forward on protecting our civil rights and voting rights, we look upon our state Supreme Court to uphold the law, exercise fairness and rule in the interests of North Carolina voters.