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NC Supreme Court Brings Back The Racist Gerrymandering Republicans Need To Win
This ain't democracy.
Friday, the North Carolina Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Moore v. Harper that the state’s constitution forbids excessive partisan gerrymandering. This was not a ruling dating back several years. It was just a few months. There were no new facts in the case. Republicans flipped the North Carolina Supreme Court during the 2022 midterms and the new right-wing majority openly functions as a rubber stamp for the Republican-controlled state legislature.
When the new Republican court announced in February that it was "reconsidering" voting rights cases the Democratic-controlled court had ruled on just two months earlier, Joshua Douglas , a professor and expert on state constitutions at the University of Kentucky College of Law, called out this partisan power grab for what it was. He told the New York Times, “Quite literally the only thing that changed is the court’s composition. The whole thing simply smells of partisanship.”
— 🤌🏾 Imani Gandy 👆🏾 (@🤌🏾 Imani Gandy 👆🏾) 1682709394
Justice Anita Earls wrote a blistering 71-page dissent, joined by the only other Democrat on the court:
"Let there be no illusions about what motivates the majority’s decision to rewrite this Court’s precedent. Today’s result was preordained on 8 November 2022, when two new members of this Court were elected to establish this Court’s conservative majority...."
"To be clear, this is not a situation in which a Democratic-controlled court preferred Democratic-leaning districts and a Republican-controlled court now prefers Republican-leaning districts," Earls continued. "Here, a Democratic-controlled court carried out its sworn duty to uphold the state constitution's guarantee of free elections, fair to all voters of both parties. This decision is now vacated by a Republican-controlled Court seeking to ensure that extreme partisan gerrymanders favoring Republicans are established."
It's simplistic, if not outright boneheaded, to suggest that the responses to the court's ruling fell on "partisan" lines. No, the reaction was clearly divided among people who respect democracy and those who don't, who would eagerly implement a failed state that furthers their interests.
Unfortunately, "simplistic, if not outright boneheaded" is an apt slogan for the New York Times ' political coverage these days.
It's parody at this point. New York Times
"The Court's ruling in Harper v. Hall today is a devastating blow to democracy," said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat. "Our constitution is supposed to be a check on the power of the legislature. But these Republican justices have surrendered that role, taking power away from the people and giving it to an out-of-control gerrymandered Republican supermajority in the legislature. I will not stop fighting so the voters choose their representatives, not the other way around."
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore crowed, "Nearly five years after the voters of this state overwhelmingly voted in favor of photo ID at the polls, it has finally become the law of the land."
Republicans had pushed through a law in 2018 requiring photo ID to vote, which North Carolina judges had struck down because, as Superior Court Judges Michael O’Foghludha and Vince Rozier wrote in their 102-page order, the law “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters."
The judges added: “Other, less restrictive voter ID laws would have sufficed to achieve the legitimate nonracial purposes of implementing the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, deterring fraud, or enhancing voter confidence.
The Republican evil plan was on hold pending appeal, and the Democratic-controlled Supreme Court agreed with the lower court's ruling last year. Now, Republicans are set to ensure they never lose power again, as Moore boasted, "We will fulfill our constitutional duty to redraw state house, senate and congressional maps."
Republicans could easily gain an additional four House seats without changing a single vote. That's not America, but it is North Carolina.
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