RALEIGH – The redistricting court cases you’ve seen in the news have focused on state legislative maps, where a lower court essentially usurped legislative authority to enact a map drawn by an “independent” Special Master after deeming original maps “racial gerrymandering,” and congressional maps, where a lower court opined that the maps were “partisan gerrymanders.” Both legal cases, brought by Democrats, are going to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But the Left is now developing heartburn (and crying racism…again) over a judicial redistricting bill that may be voted on as early as this week, as indicated by Speaker of the N.C. House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).
“House Speaker Tim Moore and the chamber’s top judicial mapmaker expressed optimism in interviews that a deal would be reached very soon on redrawn election lines for Superior Court and District Court seats and for local prosecutors.
During a quick, compulsory House floor meeting Friday morning, Moore also told chamber colleagues to be prepared for full work sessions and recorded votes starting Tuesday. Moore told The Associated Press he thinks a deal on judicial redistricting between the two chambers can be expected soon.”
The judicial redistricting has been spearheaded in the House by Republican Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly) in order to address judicial maps that have been stagnant for decades. Decades that have seen massive growth, and shifts in populations. Republicans worry that current maps are so unequal in population numbers, especially in urban districts, that they could be challenged constitutionally if they are not redrawn.
So how do Democrats react? They cry racism. They cry ‘partisan gerrymandering.’ The cry, and cry, and cry, to see what sticks.
“Democrats and their allies have called recent proposals partisan gerrymanders that would favor Republicans and mark the latest GOP legislation to tilt courts in their favor. Map opponents also say too many pairs of black incumbents would be drawn into the same districts, meaning one of the judges could not win re-election.”
Democrats only have about three strategies, all based on smearing tactics, to combat Republican legislation – call it racist; call it politically unfair; or, say it is designed to hurt the poor.
‘Tilting courts in Republicans’ favor’ really means tilting courts back toward a sound interpretation of law, which could take away Democrats’ favorite weapon – litigation.
They first opposed having partisan judicial races because they were afraid voters would select more Republican judges. Luckily, the General Assembly enacted partisan elections for judges over Democrats’ revealing objections.
Now, they don’t want long overdue judicial redistricting because accurately reflecting population shifts and more appropriately delegating judicial workloads may hurt Democrats’ chances when they bring frivolous lawsuits, or the number of black judges could be reduced.
The latter contention actually seems racist. Why should a quota of judges be based on the color of their skin? Because Democrats apparently believe a black judge is necessarily a Democrat judge.
However, redistricting isn’t the only idea percolating through the Republican majorities as the Joint Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting has also heard about merit selection.
“Legislators also have been debating whether to propose to state voters a new way of selecting judges that would eliminate head-to-head elections. But Moore, from Cleveland County, and Sen. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County said Friday there is no consensus now on a replacement, which would require a constitutional amendment and referendum.”
If Democrats think partisan judicial elections are unfair – because god forbid voters get to size up a judicial candidate based upon their basic political philosophy – then surely they can see the ‘merit’ in merit selection.
Such an appointment and confirmation process is how judges used to be placed on the bench in states across the nation, and currently in federal courts. It gives a legislature, which is ultimately accountable to voters, abilities to insure qualified judges focused on the law, instead of activism, serve the functions the judiciary was designed to perform.
If these votes on new judicial maps make it out of the House this week, and find favor in the Senate, expect yet another lawsuit from Democrats and another potentiality for judicial overreach that makes its own case for the Republicans’ suggested judicial reforms.