RALEIGH – A judicial panel ruled Monday that the state legislature’s redraw of North Carolina’s congressional districts was sufficient to move forward with 2020 elections, being that those elections were so close. The jurists asserted that their decision did not relate to the merits of the case, but merely the proximity of the election and that the court maintained the right to revisit the maps after the election.
The ruling caps a years long effort by Democrats to ‘Sue til Blue’ in which biased elements of the judiciary usurped the constitutional authority of the state legislature to execute redistricting and stated in plain language that the goal was to elected less Republicans and more Democrats.
From Spectrum News:
“A Wake County judicial panel on Monday ruled North Carolina’s 2020 Congressional election is too close to further litigate the district map.
At Monday’s hearing, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the map lawmakers approved last month has the same problems as the one it replaced. They wanted the judges to delay the election while the new map goes to trial. Lawyers for the legislature’s Republican leadership said this be a major expense and a logistical nightmare, especially for rural counties with limited resources.
Reading the ruling on behalf of the panel, Judge Paul Ridgeway said the judges’ decision had nothing to do with the merits of the case. Ridgeway noted the map lawmakers approved last month does differ from the 2016 map that faced a lawsuit and lawmakers drew the new map in accordance with the court’s instructions. Ridgeway said three months is not enough time to allow the court time to decide factual matters, pointing out the previous lawsuits surrounding the state’s maps played out over the course of one to three years. […]”
So far, it’s mission accomplished for the Democrats, who will likely pick up two congressional seats. Yet, the Democrats aren’t simply going to abandon what’s been working so well for them. They maintain their stance that these maps, too, are unacceptable. Why? Because it doesn’t hand more elections to Democrats by judicial diktat.
It is the judiciary’s usurpation of the legislature’s constitutionally assigned elections law duties. Our founders vested this power to draw electoral districts in the legislature because it is the most accountable branch of government by virtue of the fact that they answer to the people.
The argument that the people’s vote is diminished is rendered moot by recent history. Gerrymandering was a well crafted, and sometimes sinister, science during decades of Democrat control in North Carolina, yet in 2010 and 2012 the people across North Carolina held them accountable. Republicans will also be held accountable at the ballot box to the extent that they fail to meet expectations, and Democrats’s gains in the governor’s mansion (2016) and the legislature (2018) attest to that.
As such, the judiciary’s role in shaping electoral maps, especially with goals of benefiting a political party, should be infinitesimal in accordance with with N.C. Constitution and separation of powers. The issue may be put on ice for now while the 2020 elections move forward unimpeded, but with a new census coming expect Democrats to raise a ruckus all over again leveraging activist liberal judges to gain more political power.
Read more on the decision and reactions by both sides on the case here.