As expected, on a straight party-line vote, the North Carolina Supreme Court found the congressional and state legislative districts drawn by the Republican state legislature unconstitutional.
The vote on the NC Supreme Court was 4-3 with all four Democratic justices voting in favor of overturning the districts because they were overly partisan and the three Republican justices voting against it.
The dissent by Chief Justice Paul Newby is scathing and notes that the Supreme Court of the United States has never struck down a partisan gerrymander as unconstitutional – despite various requests over the past 45 years – and adds, “By choosing to hold that partisan gerrymandering violates the North Carolina Constitution and by devising its own remedies, there appears to be no limit to this Court’s power.”
Newby also notes that the decision of the majority fails to advise the legislature on how it can redistrict in a manner that is constitutional. Newby states, “The question of how much partisan consideration is unconstitutional remains a mystery, as does what is meant by substantially equal voting power on the basis of partisan affiliation.’ Any discretionary decisions constitutionally committed to the General Assembly in the redistricting process have now been transferred to the Court.”
He states, “Ironically, the majority claims the General Assembly should not subordinate traditional neutral redistricting criteria to partisan considerations, but its litmus test of constitutionality requires a satisfactory partisanship analysis. In fact, only a satisfactory partisanship analysis makes a plan constitutional. But, the Court provides no guidance as to what constitutes an acceptable partisanship analysis.”
The ruling gives the state legislature until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 to submit new maps to the trial court and states, “The trial court will approve or adopt compliant congressional and state legislative districting plans no later than noon on 23 February 2022. Any emergency application for a stay pending appeal must be filed no later than 23 February 2022.”
According to the current schedule, filing for the 2022 election will reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 and close at noon on Friday, March 4.
The statewide primary is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17.
This ruling is proof positive that these democrat justices are not fair and impartial. They are strictly politicians first and justices second. They wouldn’t recognize fair and impartial if it slapped them in the face. So much for following the constitution. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were strictly non partisan and really followed the law and did not issue rulings based on personal feelings?
How do you define fare maps? They made clear that manipulating maps to give one party a super majority based on historical voting patterns is unfair. Since they define unfair, how do you define fair?
Not sure how long you’ve lived in Gso. or NC but until a few short years ago all the maps were drawn to favor democrats for almost 100 years they were that way. Poor ole Mel Watts had a district that ran from Charlotte down I-85 almost to Durham. It was drawn just to get him elected by democrat leaders it was a really strange district but it worked. So how would you define fair and I think if the court had a Republican majority the vote would have been different but it is what it is. Until November.
The word “fair” is not in the NC constitution. Look it up. Fairness is in the minds of politicians looking for an edge in voting. Yes, only a majority of the supreme court saw the word “fair” in the constitution, so they voted for it.
It is always “constitutional” when the democrats gerrymander as they have for years. The only way the NC Supreme Court will find a redistricting proposal “constitutional” is when the maps are redrawn to help them win elections. Where does it end? Let’s get the legislature to stop this back and forth mess by passing legislation that simply says “he who has the marbles goes away the winner of the game.”
Is our entire court system partisan? If so, there goes 1/3 of our branch of government.
It’s a sad day when judges vote based on party lines instead of law. You should be a judge and hold the state constitution as your measuring stick, not your political party. Whenever something is not specifically mentioned in the constitution then it’s not just assumed to be a power they hold. Perhaps the people should vote on map lines, what a novel idea! Let the ones it affects the most have a say.