Gerrymandering

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Former North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes will plead guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Democrats have filed another lawsuit challenging North Carolina's political boundaries, this time charging that the congressional map is too partisan. Could it make tensions between state Republicans and Democrats worse? This week the finger-pointing between lawmakers in the General Assembly included calls for lie detector tests.

Meanwhile, more resignations made us wonder who would want to be president of the UNC System. And video of a drunk driver raised questions about whether Blue Cross NC properly reported the arrest of its CEO. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch synthesize the week's political news.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

Buoyed by a favorable ruling this month involving legislative districts, North Carolina voters sued again on Friday to overturn the state's congressional map, alleging Republican state lawmakers manipulated lines to maximize GOP seats.

Photo of inside of NC Senate Chambers
Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina will soon have new legislative maps. The previous maps were tossed out after a three-judge panel unanimously declared them unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.

Andrew Yang at a speaking event in front of an American flag.
Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons

Two long-awaited special elections in North Carolina are just days away. On Tuesday, Sept. 10 voters will cast ballots in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts.

Map outlining North Carolina's House districts.
Courtesy of the North Carolina State Board of Elections

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel in Raleigh ruled that North Carolina's legislative maps are unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders that favor Republicans. The court ordered state legislators to draw up new maps within two weeks, ahead of the primaries for the 2020 election. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger announced that he will not appeal the decision, despite many earlier pledges to do so from Republican lawmakers and staff.

Activists at the Supreme Court opposed to partisan gerrymandering hold up representations of congressional districts from North Carolina, left, and Maryland, right.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

A North Carolina judicial panel on Tuesday rejected state legislative district maps, saying legislators took extreme advantage from drawing voting districts to help elect a maximum number of Republican lawmakers. The judges gave lawmakers two weeks to try again.

A three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court presides over the trial of Common Cause, et al v. Lewis, et al at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, July 15, 2019.
Gerry Broome / AP

Updated at 2:45 p.m. | July 26, 2019

A three-judge North Carolina panel was considering Friday whether politicians can be too extreme in drawing legislative voting districts to their advantage, a judgment the U.S. Supreme Court refused to make about congressional elections.

A districts map is shown as a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court presides over the trial of Common Cause, et al. v. Lewis, et al at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, July 15, 2019.
Gerry Broome / AP

Election advocacy groups and Democrats are arguing in state court that North Carolina Republicans unlawfully discriminated against voters based on political leanings when they drew legislative maps to preserve GOP majorities.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Two major opinions were handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

One ruled that federal judges do not have the authority to end extreme partisan gerrymandering, while the other stopped - for now - a citizenship question for the 2020 Census.

Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, and Beck Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, discuss the impact of those decisions, while also turning their attention toward the debate surrounding the state budget.

The US Supreme Court's ruling on North Carolina's gerrymandered districts was released on Thursday.
Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that political gerrymandering is beyond the reach of federal courts. Is this good news for Democrats or Republicans? Political Junkie Ken Rudin weighs in on what the gerrymandering decision means for North Carolina in particular.

Activists at the Supreme Court opposed to partisan gerrymandering hold up representations of congressional districts from North Carolina, left, and Maryland, right.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

The battle for political advantage in state capitols is poised to become more intense after the U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that federal judges have no role in settling disputes over partisan gerrymandering.

The majority opinion states that the drawing of electoral maps is too political for federal courts to get involved.
SUPERMAC1961 / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts have no role to play in deciding partisan gerrymandering cases.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question, not reviewable by federal courts, and can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the constitution.

Maps generated by Jonathan Mattingly and Gregory Herschlag

Since the 1980s North Carolina has not seen a decade when it wasn’t fighting challenges to district maps drawn by state legislators.

Maps outlining congressional and legislative districts are usually drawn every 10 years, after each census, and are supposed to stay in place until the next census.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement Wednesday since the release of his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His main message: Read the report. Beyond that, he highlighted that charging a sitting president with a crime “was not an option.”

Poverty, Poor People's Campaign, Mass Incarceration
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign is wrapping up its statewide bus tour today in Raleigh. They plan on joining school teachers for the May 1 demonstration.

United States Supreme Court
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed wary Tuesday of getting federal judges involved in determining when electoral district maps are too partisan.

Panorama of United States Supreme Court Building at dusk.
Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA 3.0

The U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments Tuesday morning in a North Carolina gerrymandering case that dates back to the 2016 election. The case, Common Cause v. Rucho, is a major test for the court’s position on political gerrymandering.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

The Supreme Court is returning to arguments over whether the political task of redistricting can be overly partisan.

The United States Supreme Court. Justices will hear arguments in a political gerrymandering case on Tuesday.
AP

Last year, proponents of limiting partisan politics in the creation of electoral districts needed to win over Justice Anthony Kennedy. They couldn't.

Laurel Street
Allen G. Breed / AP Photo

Democrats won more votes, regained control of the U.S. House and flipped hundreds of seats in state legislatures during the 2018 elections. It was, by most accounts, a good year for the party.

Yet it wasn't as bad as it could have been for Republicans.

That's because they may have benefited from a built-in advantage in some states, based on how political districts were drawn, that prevented deeper losses or helped them hold on to power, according to a mathematical analysis by The Associated Press.

photo of asheville and the surrounding mountains at dusk
Michael Tracey/Public Domain

Why is Asheville not fighting a redistricting plan from the state legislature? Asheville’s local elections use an “at-large” system, which means that the six city council members and mayor are elected citywide. But last summer, state lawmakers created five districts for the Asheville City Council and delayed local elections for a year. 

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

The Supreme Court is plunging back into the issue of whether electoral districts can be too partisan.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

Yet another redistricting lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina, this one challenging General Assembly boundaries that Democrats and election reform advocates say remain illegally tainted by excessive favoritism toward Republicans.

Splitting The Black College Vote In North Carolina

Nov 2, 2018
Screengrab of  Youth Radio video on North Carolina gerrymandering.
YR

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina's political map was unconstitutional because it disadvantaged black voters. So the map was redrawn.

But in January, it was ruled to be unconstitutional again because this time it favored Republicans. Reporter Kamaya Truitt looks at the strange case of North Carolina A&T State University, which state legislators divided into two congressional districts.

pxhere.com

BBC Radio reporter and producer Giles Edwards first came to North Carolina to look at the politics of voting access in 2014. It was one year after the U.S. Supreme Court had gutted the Voting Rights Act and not long after North Carolina embarked on its own efforts to overhaul voting, including eliminating same-day voter registration and reducing early voting. That legislation was later struck down by the Supreme Court. Through conversations with politicians, activists and experts, Edwards created an audio analysis of the many ways North Carolinians were seeing their voting access change.

Voter stickers
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

North Carolina might yet play a role in what some have predicted will become a blue wave.

The latest election fundraising totals show that Democrats in two North Carolina Congressional battlegrounds have fared well.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

A panel of federal judges formally backed off Tuesday the idea of requiring a new congressional map for North Carolina's fall elections, one week after broaching the possibility when the judges declared the current lines illegal partisan gerrymanders.

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

A federal court has again found North Carolina’s congressional district map to be unconstitutional, ruling that it was drawn to favor Republicans. The panel was reconsidering the case at the direction of the Supreme Court, which declined to hear it earlier this year. With November’s midterm elections quickly approaching, the court must now decide whether to demand new maps be drawn and who should draw them. 

Pages