RALEIGH – Republican legislative leaders have filed to move the latest legal challenge of North Carolina’s congressional maps from state court to federal court. If successful, it could blunt Democrats chances of exploiting the judiciary to force electoral gains.
The Democrats in North Carolina have been busy the last few years following through on their ‘Sue til Blue’ strategy, and front and center has been shopping for sympathetic judges to throw out Republican drawn maps of any variety in order to essentially place more Democrats in power by diktat of the judiciary.
While they have been successful in eliciting judicial mandates to get themselves friendlier maps in some cases, others haven’t gone their way. Case in point is their federal lawsuit arguing congressional maps were “partisan gerrymanders,” which culminated in the Supreme Court of the United States laughing them out of the court room for the judicial branch should take over constitutionally legislative powers in order to get Democrats some European-style proportional representation. But in their scatter shot approach to filing gerrymandering lawsuits, Democrats had gotten a state court to come to their political aid and decree state legislative maps unconstitutional on that very same (very ridiculous) partisan gerrymandering charge.
The ploy didn’t work in the federal court for congressional maps, but it did sure did find favor in state courts for state maps, so what’s a Democrat to do? Another lawsuit! This time challenging congressional maps in the same Democrat friendly state courts — the exact same judges! — that sided with them last time. Where the N.C. Supreme Court only has ONE REPUBLICAN, and the Left can be assured of another being handed another political victory by activists judges; That’s the current suit we’re dealing with.
Republicans motion this week to move the case to federal court is essentially saying, “Not so fast.” This exact issue already went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was decided by a clear majority of justices. The majority opinion articulated that the courts had no business drawing maps; no broad constitutional authority to dictate how the legislature draws legislative maps; that political bias in drawing maps was not explicitly unconstitutional; and, the Democrats have absolutely no constitutional grounds to demand the courts provide them with proportional representation.
Though, Democrats are crossing their fingers that Republicans’ motion to move to federal court are not granted. Time is of the essence because a state court hearing is scheduled for next week on the plaintiffs’ request to block the current map’s use now, before a trial, and demand lawmakers redraw it before 2020 elections. That means before primaries in March.
When will it ever end? Unfortunately, not until Democrats are blue in the face. With any luck, an honestly constitutional approach to the cases will keep the Old North State from being arbitrarily smothered blue in process. Moving the case to federal court would be a good step in that direction.