Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Court rules Pennsylvania can keep congressional district map

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper blasts 'technologically diabolical gerrymandering' in his home state NC Gerrymandered Map Ruled Unconstitutional By Panel Of Judges
Ben Pena | 13 January, 2018, 18:44

So now lawmakers, meaning the Republicans in charge who are responsible for these ridiculous maps created to guarantee Republican seats in 10 of 13 congressional districts, will have until January 29 to come up with new maps to fix the partisan gerrymandering.

"However, the 2011 Pennsylvania Congressional districts map has been determined to be constitutional by both Federal and State judges, which serves to further strengthen my view that the plaintiffs should abandon their costly legal actions and allow the Legislature's examination of reforms to move forward." .

Missing from this argument is the fact that just two years ago North Carolina's congressional election schedule was changed because of a federal ruling about gerrymandering. Candidate filing opens February 12 and runs through the end of the month.

Phil Strach, the Raleigh-based attorney representing Republican lawmakers in the partisan gerrymandering case, stated in his 22-page request for an emergency stay on the order issued Tuesday that a three-judge panel "has used an entirely novel legal theory to hopelessly disrupt North Carolina's upcoming congressional elections". Districts done in haste - should this ruling stand - will not be ideal, but if they can pass muster from these three judges, citizens can have more confidence in them than they do in the current ones.

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North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin called the ruling a "major victory for North Carolina and people across the state whose voices were silenced by Republicans' unconstitutional attempts to rig the system to their partisan advantage".

State Rep. David Lewis, a lawmaker involved in the GOP's gerrymandering effort, in 2016 to "draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats because I do not believe it's possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats".

North Carolina voters have elected congressional representatives in three election cycles this decade with maps that have been declared unconstitutional by the courts. Donald Trump also carried the state.

While courts have found that gerrymandering on a racial basis is clearly unconstitutional, they had yet to rule definitively on whether partisanship alone could yield unconstitutional voting maps. The motion states the ruling in the Wisconsin case would likely affect North Carolina's case as well. The primaries and candidate filing period was pushed back but the election, more or less, ran without any redistricting chaos.

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