Redistricting

Redistricting Reconsidered

Apr 21, 2015
The district plan for North Carolina as set by the 2011 General Assembly.
ncleg.net

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider the controversial redistricting measures taken by the legislature in 2011. 

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state court’s decision and instructed it to look again at these issues in light of the highest court’s rulings in a similar case in Alabama. At issue is whether the new lines are racially-based gerrymandering or permissible redistricting measures.

Photo: NC Legislative building
Jorge Valencia

A busy Tuesday at the General Assembly ended with mixed results for proposals on religion, taxes and redistricting.

A bill that could allow private businesses to refuse service to someone based on personal religious beliefs could stall in the House. 

Meanwhile, the House and Senate agreed to lower North Carolina's gas tax by 3.5 cents over the next year. And a House committee approved a measure that would redistrict Wake County's Board of Commissioners.

Image of Greensboro Skyline
Wikipedia Commons

Two controversial redistricting bills passed last week in the Senate are headed for debate on the House floor. 

Senate Bill 181, introduced by Republican Chad Barefoot of Wake County, modifies the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner Seats. Senate Bill 36, introduced by Republican Trudy Wade of Guilford County, reconfigures the Greensboro City Council to a seven-member body in which the mayor has no voting power.  Both bills raise questions about the role of state lawmakers in controlling local governing bodies. 

Wake County
www.wakegov.com

At the Capitol, two controversial redistricting bills are heading for debate on the Senate floor. One would modify the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner seats. The other would change the maps for Greensboro City Council districts. Supporters say these measures improve representation. Opponents want state lawmakers to leave local governments alone.

Photo: Map of North Carolina
Flickr user Lindley Ashline

A coalition of Democratic and Republican state representatives wants to cede their responsibility to draw North Carolina's electoral districts, to non-partisan staff or a non-partisan commission.

They say they want to take politics out of the process, but similar efforts have failed for more than 20 years.

Photo: Justice Cheri Beasley
Justice Cheri Beasley Committee

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has won a re-count to keep her seat against  Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, according to certified State Board of Elections results.

Beasley, endorsed by Democrats in the non-partisan race for the state’s highest court, gained a net of 17 votes in the re-count, keeping a narrow lead of 0.22 percent of ballots cast, the unofficial results show.

Voting map
North Charleston via Flickr

    

In 1964, the Supreme Court held that the voting power of each individual should be equal. But do current voting districts reflect the principle of “one person, one vote”?

Two former North Carolina mayors have joined a coalition seeking to put the power to draw voting districts in the hands of a non partisan commission.

Picture of gavel
Flickr.com

Opponents of the legislative and congressional districts drawn in 2011 by the General Assembly argued in court today that those boundaries should be thrown out.

The effort to scrap the new legislative and congressional boundaries landed in the state Supreme Court today. Attorneys for groups from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to the state NAACP told justices the boundaries for the newly drawn maps are unconstitutional. They want the court to postpone the candidate filing period for this year's elections as well as the May sixth primary date.

Court Upholds N.C. District Maps

Jul 8, 2013
North Carolina's newest Congressional districts are among those up for debate in Wake County Superior Court Monday and Tuesday.
NC Legislature / ncleg.net

RALEIGH, N.C. - A three-judge panel on Monday upheld the boundaries for North Carolina's legislative and congressional seats drawn by Republicans, saying the lines don't damage constitutional rights of citizens.

The Superior Court judges, in a unanimous 171-page decision, rejected the arguments of Democratic voters, civil rights groups and election advocates who sued over the lines and argued they were racial gerrymanders.

North Carolina's Congressional District 12 in 1992.
http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

In 2010, when Republicans won control of the state House and Senate, they radically redrew voting districts in favor of their own party.  In previous elections, Democrats have done the same.  Now, there's a bipartisan effort in the state House of Representatives to reform the redistricting process.

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