Gerrymandering

Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, USA. Front facade.
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Updated 1:40 p.m. | June 28, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday that lingering racial bias infected some General Assembly district boundaries approved last year, but its ruling leaves intact the district lines already used earlier this year for this fall's elections.

Photo: The U.S. Supreme Court building
Sno Shuu / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it refuses to hear a political gerrymandering case that would have decided whether Republican legislators in North Carolina violated the Constitution when they redrew voting maps.

Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, USA. Front facade.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Daderot

The Supreme Court is choosing not to take on a new case on partisan redistricting for now. Instead, the justices are sending a dispute over North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional districting map back to a lower court for more work.

NCGA

If history is any indicator, turnout for the North Carolina primary on May 8th may be low, especially with no glitzy federal or statewide candidates on the ballot—fewer than 8 percent of voters cast a ballot in 2016. But this year may be different. The races highlight one of the biggest political stories of 2017: our state’s election maps.

 

photo of john bolton speaking at a podium
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Former President Jimmy Carter called John Bolton a “war-like” figure who has advocated for attacks against Iraq, Iran and a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. He considers Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser “a disaster for our country.”

 

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a class size bill, and North Carolina’s redistricting saga are among the issues in the news this week in state politics. Also, how open is North Carolina state’s  government and how accessible is it for journalists and the public to access what happens at the General Assembly?

Image of three different maps of North Carolina, with different districts.
Courtesy of Jonathan Mattingly

In the past few months, the courts have found fault with North Carolina’s state and congressional maps. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that state legislative districts are unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering, and last month a three-judge panel in federal court determined that there is partisan gerrymandering in the state’s congressional districts. 

The Supreme Court has struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina because race played too large a role in their creation.
Rose Trinh / Flickr, Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a lower-court order that would have forced North Carolina Republican lawmakers to redraw the state's congressional districts by next week because of excessive partisan bias in current lines.

The Supreme Court has struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina because race played too large a role in their creation.
Rose Trinh / Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to block enforcement of an order throwing out the state's congressional map because the lines were too partisan and directing a redraw almost immediately.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Federal judges ruled yesterday that the state's congressional districts drawn by Republican lawmakers are too partisan. They described them as  drawn to “entrench Republican domination of the state’s congressional delegation.” This ruling marks the first time a federal court has struck down a congressional map on those grounds. 

First draft of the special master's legislative districts, submitted Nov. 12
Nathaniel Persily / Stanford

Friday is the deadline for submitting suggestions to the Stanford University law professor tasked with re-drafting North Carolina's legislative maps.

A federal judicial panel appointed the so-called special master to fix flaws in the maps submitted by Republican lawmakers.

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Attorneys for the two sides in the battle over North Carolina's legislative voting maps each faced withering scrutiny from a federal judicial panel in Greensboro Thursday. And the judges issued an order late in the day indicating they may end up bringing in a neutral party to redraw the district plans.

Upstate NYer / Wikimedia Commons

A groundbreaking case over how voting maps are drawn is playing out in the Supreme Court.

Thomas Alvin Farr is seated during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in Washington.
Alex Brandon / AP

A prominent legal defender of North Carolina voting restrictions ultimately struck down by a court as racially biased said Wednesday that his future decisions as a federal judge wouldn't ignore that ruling if he is confirmed to the bench.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in North Carolina politics, a conversation about new legislative maps passed by the North Carolina General Assembly; a plastic bag ban repeal; and money to monitor and study GenX.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The Republican-led General Assembly has given final approval to new political boundaries in largely party-line votes.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

North Carolina House and Senate members are sticking with tradition by declining to interfere with the other chamber's proposed district boundaries.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly has approved a set of legislative district maps to replace the 2011 plans thrown out by the courts for being illegal racial gerrymanders. The problem, many critics say, is the new maps are just as bad.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Updated 2:30 p.m., August 25, 2017

The North Carolina legislature has taken significant steps toward passing reworked boundaries for dozens of House and Senate districts in light of court rulings declaring that Republicans relied too heavily on race.

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina lawmakers released new voting maps last weekend. The freshly-drawn district lines come after 28 House and Senate districts were found by the U.S. Supreme Court to be illegally gerrymandered along racial lines. 

Public hearings in 7 locations statewide on new maps to replace illegal racial gerrymanders from 2011
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Scores of North Carolina residents turned out Tuesday evening to address members of the state House and Senate redistricting committees.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Map-makers are proposing new districts for members of the North Carolina Senate, a move forced after a federal court ruled state Republicans illegally gave too much emphasis to race in the current version of legislative groupings.

North Carolina House lawmakers released a map on Saturday, August 19, 2017 of new proposed legislative districts.
Courtesy of NCLeg.net

Mapmakers are proposing new districts for most members of the North Carolina House, a move forced after federal judges ruled state Republicans illegally gave too much emphasis to race in the current version of legislative voting lines.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation with Jeremy Loeb, Morning Edition Host and reporter at Blue Ridge Public Radio.

Jeremy joins Jeff on this politics podcast to discuss redistricting, the powerful U.S. House members from Western North Carolina, craft beer, and what he misses most about WUNC - where he used to work.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers have approved a set of guidelines from which they will draw new political maps.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Federal judges on Monday rejected a request by North Carolina voters who sued over General Assembly district boundaries to hold special elections next March in new districts once lines are redrawn to eliminate illegal racial gerrymandering.

Federal Courthouse in Greensboro
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Two federal judges said Thursday they are concerned that North Carolina legislative leaders have taken few if any steps to draw new election maps since they were struck down last year, and one judge suggested they don't appear to be taking their duty seriously.

Federal Courthouse in Greensboro
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

An advocacy group is expected to ask federal judges to stop the North Carolina General Assembly from conducting legislative matters until redistricting takes place.

Big Dubya / Flickr - Creative Commons

A federal voter fraud commission’s request for voter data from individual states has prompted concern from voters and politicians. The commission was formed at the behest of President Trump in reaction to claims of widespread voter fraud. In North Carolina the state elections board is facing a wave of calls from voters who want to voice opposition, or even cancel their voter registration in reaction to the federal data request.

Gerrymandered districts have given Republicans an edge in recent years
CQ Press / UNC-Chapel Hill

The United States Supreme Court will decide if states may draw voting districts to gain a partisan advantage.

The ruling is not expected until next year but will greatly impact North Carolina's voting districts, which are among the most severely gerrymandered in the country.

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