Redistricting

A breakdown of North Carolina's Congressional delegation through the years
UNC Library / Jason deBruyn

A joint legislative committee finished up its work Wednesday on redrawing North Carolina's 13 congressional district boundaries, producing more than a dozen possible replacements. Now,the redistricting process must move through the house and senate with candidate filing for 2020 less than three weeks away.

In this July 26, 2017 photo, a member of the gallery tries to display her sign while lawmakers convene during a joint select committee meeting on redistricting in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

Updated at 4:10 p.m.

North Carolina legislators have started the process of redrawing the state's current congressional map after state judges last week blocked its use because they said there was evidence of likely excessive partisan bias in those districts. A House-Senate committee held its first meeting on Tuesday.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
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The North Carolina General Assembly concluded this week with a decresendo. Legislators adjourned for a two-week recess without overriding a budget veto or finding much in the way of compromise. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Mitch Kokai of the John Lock Foundation discuss the heightened acrimony, and the court ruling that all but guarantees lawmakers will be returning to another round of redistricting. 

And Mitch and Rob share their reflections on the career of former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan who died this week at age 66.
 


2016 map
Credit North Carolina General Assembly

A three-judge panel has ordered North Carolina legislators to throw out the current Congressional maps.

In this July 26, 2017 photo, a member of the gallery tries to display her sign while lawmakers convene during a joint select committee meeting on redistricting in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome / AP

Updated at 8:50 p.m.

North Carolina judges on Monday blocked the state's congressional map from being used in the 2020 elections, ruling that voters had a strong likelihood of winning a lawsuit that argued Republicans unlawfully manipulated district lines for partisan gain.

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More "mini budgets" advanced in the North Carolina General Assembly this week. 

Lawmakers recieved warning that the planned transformation of the Medicaid program could be disrupted by the absense of a complete state budget.

And, for the first time in years, a legislative committee discussed proposals for reforming the redistricting process.

Billy Ball of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation review some of the happenings in North Carolina politics this week. 
 


SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

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Rep. John Szoka identifies himself as an "oddball" Republican.

A fourth term member of the North Carolina House from Cumberland County, Szoka is an ally of renewables and solar and has, on occasion, stepped out against powerful Duke Energy.

He talks about that on this edition of the WUNC Politics Podcast, his career in the military, and having his district redrawn for 2020. 
 


gavel at courtroom
William Johnson / US Airforce Photo

Republican legislative leaders are trying to move from state court to federal court a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina congressional map drawn in 2016.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

In a time-crunched, court-ordered process, the North Carolina General Assembly recently redrew the state's legislative district maps to be used in next year's elections. A Wake County Superior Court had found the Republican-controlled legislature had gerrymandered dozens of House and Senate districts for extreme partisan advantage. The redrawn maps are now under court review.

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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.

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North Carolina legislators completed their court-ordered redistricting this week. Lawmakers were working on a swift turnaround and, for more transparency, the mapping sessions were livestreamed. The process drew criticism and praise. Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss the meaning of "independent" redistricting and whether anything has changed with lawmakers' return to consideration of Medicaid expansion. 
 


Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday finished its court-ordered task of redrawing dozens of state house and senate districts in a very undramatic fashion. The House voted for the Senate remap and the Senate approved the House proposal.

The task comes two weeks after a dramatic, first-of-its-kind ruling on September 3 when a Wake County Superior Court judicial panel declared Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly had gerrymandered legislative districts for excessively partisan gains and, therefore, violated the state constitution.

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The North Carolina General Assembly is again sending redrawn district maps back to the court for review.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr weighs in and remembers former Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, who wrote another precedent-setting decision on redistricting. Orr also has an eye on a proposal in California that would let college athletes earn compensation from sponsorships.

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.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Updated 9:10 a.m.

Facing a deadline this week, the North Carolina legislature stayed on track to enact replacement districts for dozens of its seats on time, even as citizens critiqued the maps in a public meeting.

Nathaniel Persily
Stanford Law School

North Carolina judges who ruled the state's legislative district maps were drawn to unconstitutionally favor Republicans are hiring a familiar expert to review how state lawmakers fix the problem.

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.

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. 

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.

 

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?

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Thanks to winter weather, it was a slow work week for many in North Carolina. However, the political world trudged along with more redistricting and judicial developments.

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. 

Federal judges have ruled that North Carolina's congressional district map drawn by legislative Republicans is illegally gerrymandered because of excessive partisanship that gave the GOP a rock-solid advantage for most seats and must quickly be redone.

Thomas Farr, with right hand raised, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Thomas Farr is a Raleigh-based lawyer who has counseled North Carolina Republicans on a multitude of racially divisive cases.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in North Carolina politics, a conversation about judicial redistricting and Anita Earls’ race for state Supreme Court; the special master's legislative maps; and objections from North Carolina Senators Tillis and Burr against Donald Trump’s EPA nominee.

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.

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