Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Monday, May 1, 2023

Tar heeled gerrymandering

I don't have the time or energy to deep dive the North Carolina gerrymandering decision this morning but it has definitely got me angry. Voters are pretty evenly split in the state (about 49/51 red) but since 2012 minorities have been crammed into three oddly shaped districts to lessen their political power. The new gerrymandered maps now give Republicans an edge in 14 districts.

In the 2010 elections, the Republican Party won control of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in over a hundred years. This gave the party complete control over the redrawing of North Carolina’s congressional and state legislative districts, as then-Gov. Bev Perdue (D) did not have the power to veto redistricting plans passed by the General Assembly.

Republicans used this ability to draw maps to maximize their advantage in the state. While North Carolina’s congressional delegation prior to the 2011 redistricting cycle was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, the 2012 elections (the first under the new map) led to a 4-9 split in favor of Republicans, which became a 3-10 split by 2015. The congressional plan heavily concentrated Democratic voters in the 1st, 4th and 12th Congressional Districts, ensuring Democratic candidates would win these districts by lopsided margins while Republicans won the remaining 10 with smaller, though still safe, numbers.

In 2016, the 1st and the 12th Congressional Districts were again ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The decision, eventually upheld by the Supreme Court in Cooper v. Harris, forced the state GOP to craft a new congressional map in time for the November 2016 elections. This time, rather than using racial data in drawing districts, the General Assembly opted to use partisan data instead, with Rep. David H. Lewis (R) openly stating he thought “electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats” and that he “drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

The new conservative majority North Carolina Supreme Court has held that the legislature can partisan gerrymand to its heart's content and that it is nobody else's business. They have been helped by a 2019 SCOTUS decision that said that partisan gerrymandering was unjust but not their problem.

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

The ruling puts the onus on the legislative branch, and on individual states, to police redistricting efforts.

"We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the conservative majority. "Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions."

Roberts noted that excessive partisanship in the drawing of districts does lead to results that "reasonably seem unjust," but he said that does not mean it is the court's responsibility to find a solution.

How convenient. This is obviously an exercise in pure political power and will have the effect of stripping representation from minorities and democrats. The new maps will add an estimated eleven new conservative seats to the legislature. Jim Crow is alive and well and it is occurring throughout the south.

My favorite quote was from a republican legislator who said that no one could prove that their intent in enacting these maps was racist. Such incredible cynicism and deceit on the part of these people. Who do they think they are kidding?


How South Carolina ended up with an all male Supreme Court.


Scrota said...

A look at the map proves my point...NC is a Red state with the castles flying the
Liberal banner in a few large cities. Now isn't that terrible that those few Blue
cities can't dictate what the Red state should kowtow to. Of course in the last 100
years y'all know what it meant to be a Southern Democrat, and who ran the Jim Crow concession stand.

We all should look fondly back at the good old days of 'whites only'
and 'back of the bus'.

John C. Calhoun

Blue Heron said...

It's not about where people live, Scrota, it is the fact that the numbers in the state are dead even and those people are denied of representation. Take that back to your plantation and smoke it.

Scrota said...

Who owned the plantations, history genius, while we were 'out here in the fields'?

The only reason that 'Racism' is ever brought up is because African Americans vote in lockstep. If they weren't a solid voting bloc, and there was varied voting like every other ethnic group, then no gerrymander would effect the vote. At 95% it's an easy target to nullify. The powers that be, on both sides, count on that lopsided outcome.

Now in the Philadelphia wards it's apparent what the DNC can count on every election.
On every street they have 100% turnout, a statistical impossibility. If you don't vote, they vote for you. And of course it is a 100% turnout for the Democratic candidates. But if anyone ever questioned it, they call you the 'R' word.

So in NC the same is true. Because the lapdog of the DNC never question their masters
and continue to vote the same, they have no voice to effect a change. If half voted for Republicans gerrymander would be a dead issue and party platforms would matter.

That's Mr. Calhoun to you.

Blue Heron said...

They had cotton fields in Tarzana, Valley Boy? I think not. Lockstep, I don't think so. How do you account for Tim Scott or Clarence or Wesley Hunt, John James, Byron Donalds and the rest of the Uncle Toms? There will always be a group of people willing to sell out for the dirty lucre.

Scrota said...

So no one whose side loses an election has representation? So one-party rule is a desirable, like Cuba, Venezuela and China?

"Why do we need two parties? Here in Cuba [or California] we get along fine with one-party rule!"

In a democracy the people vote in representatives, with a time limit, that govern. They represent ALL the people of that state. If they govern poorly, they are voted out. But all the people are represented all the time. You may not like your representative but that's democracy.

Get over it.


Blue Heron said...

Mean streets of Encino...