NC gerrymandering

Proposed GOP gerrymander of Winston-Salem is a whitewash

Triple-bunking three African-American female Councilors:

A bill introduced Thursday by Forsyth County Republican legislators would force three black Democratic women on the Winston-Salem City Council into one district. D.D. Adams, one of the three, emphatically denounced lawmakers for what she described as a racist payback for the Democratic activism of black women.

"Everybody thinks we are going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya — it's not going to happen that way," Adams said a day after learning of the bill. "This is one of those times when we are going to have to fight. Everyone knows African-American women are going to vote and will vote Democratic." Adams said her message to lawmakers was, "How dare you? How dare you?"

And unless I'm sorely mistaken, this being labeled as a "Local" bill removes Governor Cooper's Veto powers from the formula. A simple majority would force this down Winston-Salem's throat, and also punish Dan Besse, who gave one of the sponsors of this bill a run for his money back in November:

Allison Riggs makes strong showing at Supreme Court

And she didn't take any crap from Brett Kavanaugh:

Justice Neil Gorsuch seemed to agree that the problem of partisan gerrymandering is one that should be left for the political branches of government to deal with. Justice Brett Kavanaugh echoed this concern. He told Allison Riggs, who argued for a second group of challengers in the North Carolina case, that he understood “some of your argument to be that extreme partisan gerrymandering is a problem for democracy.” Referring to activity in the states and in Congress to combat partisan gerrymandering, Kavanaugh asked whether we have reached a moment when the other actors can do it.

Riggs responded that North Carolina, at least, is not at that moment. When Kavanaugh responded, “I’m thinking more nationally,” Riggs shot back that “other options don’t relieve this Court of its duty to vindicate constitutional rights.”

And of course she's right. What Kavanaugh doesn't grasp (or is ignoring) is the fact that some of those states allow popular movements to amend their constitutions without prior approval by the Legislative body. Like they did in Michigan, where proponents had to collect enough signatures to get independent redistricting on the November ballot. North Carolina doesn't allow for that, making Kavanaugh's argument both inappropriate and irrelevant. Also inappropriate:

NC A&T a case study in partisan gerrymandering

Divided and conquered without an opportunity to protest:

In adopting the electoral map, the legislature partitioned the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, the nation's largest historically black public college, into two separate districts.

"We had one person representing us who shared our beliefs. Now we have two people who don't really represent us," said Smith, 24, a 2017 graduate who works with voting-rights group Common Cause, which is among the plaintiffs challenging the new districts.

This particular move may be the partisan straw that broke the mapmaker's back. It should be, anyway. Not even the worst justices (Thomas and Kavanaugh) on our conservative Supreme Court could swallow the idea splitting NC A&T in half was merely a coincidence, or that students are better off with two Representatives instead of one. Their votes were "cracked," to use the parlance of the mapmakers themselves, and there is no viable defense of that. And this argument might be even worse:

GOP darling Gerry Mander gets another kick in the pants

3-judge panel rules 4 Wake County House districts unconstitutional:

The ruling won't change the lines for Tuesday's legislative elections, but the panel said the General Assembly must redraw the districts no later than the end of its next regular session or July 1 of next year, whichever comes first. The districts involved are House District 36, currently held by Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake; House District 37, held by Rep. John Adcock, R-Wake; House District 40, held by Rep. Joe John, D-Wake; and House District 41, held by Rep. Gale Adcock.

N.C. House Elections and Ethics Law Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, said leadership will review the ruling over the next few weeks and decide its next step. "Obviously I disagree with the Decision and believe it will create voter uncertainty and confusion," Lewis said in a statement.

Oh, that's rich. Drawing unconstitutional districts is not the danger, it's fixing the problem we should be afraid of. If you look the word "Hubris" up in the dictionary, there a picture of David Lewis over in the margin.

Trump whines about NC Gerrymandering ruling during Charlotte visit

He can't understand it of course, but it seems wrong for some reason:

President Trump suggested Friday that there is “something wrong” with a recent decision by a three-judge federal panel in North Carolina that ruled the state’s congressional map was an illegal partisan gerrymander.

“I think it’s unfair with this whole redistricting thing they’re doing in North Carolina,” Mr. Trump told supporters in a Charlotte ballroom. “It’s very unfair you have an election in a little more than 60 days, and they change the district on you? And you’ve gone through primaries.” North Carolina’s population is closely divided between the parties, but the map drawn by the GOP-controlled Legislature produced a 10-to-3 Republican advantage among its U.S. House seats. The court raised the possibility that the state’s 13 districts could be redrawn for the midterm elections. “There has to be something wrong on this,” he added. “I know you guys are working on it.”

Okay, first of all, only one of those "guys" is actually in Congress, the other is a bible-thumping wannabe. But even the guy in Congress really has no standing, because redistricting is done by the state, not the federal government. You know what, I'm just going to stop right there, because arguing with Trump is about as pointless as predicting which way the squirrel will dash when he senses a car approaching. Even when he's almost all the way across the road, that doesn't mean he won't change his mind and run right under your wheel.

NC GOP wants Supreme Court to scuttle Special Master maps

Because who needs fair elections anyway:

There is literally no dirty trick these tyrants won't try to remain in power.

NC GOP double-bunks three of its elected women

Apparently they have too many women in office:

Incumbent lawmakers running for re-election are used to campaigning against primary challengers, but usually those challengers aren't other incumbents. But that's a situation four Republican state senators are facing this year after redistricting drew two incumbents each into District 45 and District 31. First-term Sen. Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga, faces off against three-term Sen. Shirley Randleman, R-Wilkes, in District 45, which includes Watauga, Wilkes, Avery and Alleghany counties and part of Surry County.

Nathan Miller, vice chairman of the Watauga County Republican Party, said a lot of people are frustrated with having a double-bunked district. "They're both highly qualified, they're both highly competent," Miller said. "Frankly, I don't know why they got double-bunked. ... They're both strong-willed females in the N.C. Senate. Why would you want to double-bunk them? Eventually one of them is going to lose."

If by "eventually" you mean tomorrow, then yes, eventually one of them will lose her seat. The other race mentioned (District 31) also has a double-bunked GOP woman (Joyce Krawiec), so that makes three out of the four unlucky candidates female. Because GOP values are either inscrutable or non-existent.

Justin Burr's mysterious crusade against sitting judges

Hat-tip to NC Policy Watch for exploring this nonsense:

More than 100 judges with thousands of years of combined experience could be wiped from the North Carolina bench by a bail bond agent who has served less than a decade in the General Assembly, and no one really knows why. Many judges learned of their potential unemployment on Twitter last summer when Rep. Justin Burr (a private bail bond agent by profession) unveiled his surprise judicial redistricting plan. They’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on ever since.

“It’s stressful because it’s created this cloud of anxiety since June about what are they going to do next. Do I have to move? What do I have to do?” said District Court Judge Robin Wicks Robinson, who serves New Hanover and Pender counties. “There is a powerlessness feeling and feeling of anxiety that overwhelms.”

Understand, double-bunking at such a high rate does not happen by accident, it requires a design. An intentional effort to create a new batch of judges in a system that is already crushed under poor funding and a growing caseload. And it should come as no surprise that the people who will suffer the most under this plan are on the low end of the economic spectrum:

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