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New GOP-Majority N. Carolina Supreme Ct Rules Partisan Gerrymandering Is Lawful, Could Net Republicans Four More House Seats

New GOP-Majority N. Carolina Supreme Ct Rules Partisan Gerrymandering Is Lawful, Could Net Republicans Four More House Seats

“In a trio of rulings Friday, the N.C. Supreme Court restored the state’s voter ID law, took state courts out of partisan gerrymandering disputes, and ended voting for felons who have not completed their sentences.”

North Carolina Republicans (and citizens) saw some big wins Friday as the state’s Supreme Court threw out a previous ruling that the state’s redistricting maps, crafted by the GOP, were racist; reinstated voter ID; and ruled that felons need to complete their parole/probation and pay the required fees to vote legally in the state.

The AP reports (archive link):

In massive victories for Republicans, the newly GOP-controlled North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday threw out a previous ruling against gerrymandered voting maps and upheld a photo voter identification law that colleagues had struck down as racially biased.

The partisan gerrymandering ruling should make it significantly easier for the Republican-dominated legislature to help the GOP gain seats in the narrowly divided U.S. House when state lawmakers redraw congressional boundaries for the 2024 elections. Under the current map, Democrats won seven of the state’s 14 congressional seats last November.

The court, which became a Republican majority this year following the election of two GOP justices, ruled after taking the unusual step of revisiting redistricting and voter ID opinions made in December by the court’s previous iteration, when Democrats held a 4-3 seat advantage. The court held rehearings in March.

Friday’s 5-2 rulings also mean that state lawmakers should have greater latitude in drawing General Assembly seat boundaries for elections next year and the rest of the decade, and that the voter ID law approved by the legislature in late 2018 could be carried out soon.

In another court decision Friday along party lines, the state justices overturned a trial court decision on when the voting rights of people convicted of felonies are restored. That means tens of thousands of people will have to complete their probation or parole and pay any fines to qualify to vote again.

The Carolina Journal has more:

Legislative leaders responded to the three rulings.

“For years plaintiffs and activist courts have manipulated our Constitution to achieve policy outcomes that could not be won at the ballot box,” said Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, in an emailed statement. “Today’s rulings affirm that our Constitution cannot be exploited to fit the political whims of left-wing Democrats.”

“The decisions handed down today by the N.C. Supreme Court have ensured that our constitution and the will of the people of North Carolina are honored,” said House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. “Nearly five years after the voters of this state overwhelmingly voted in favor of photo ID at the polls, it has finally become the law of the land. We will fulfill our constitutional duty to redraw state House, Senate, and congressional maps.”

“Today is a great day for North Carolina and the rule of law,” said N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley. “The people of North Carolina rejected the blatant activism of the progressive judges by electing a strong majority of conservative Justices. These rulings are a big step toward restoring respect for the Constitution and taking politics out of the courtroom.”


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The Gentle Grizzly | April 29, 2023 at 7:57 pm

“Background: In 2018, NC voters approved a constitutional amendment for voter ID. The 4(D)-3(R) Court struck down the law.”

It’s a sad situation where the judiciary rules based on party affiliation rather than what is right and proper. That goes both ways.

    People in our state were rightly angry and disgusted at those hasty rulings the NC Supreme Court issued after they lost the election. It looked like they were jamming things through as fast as they could since the Dem majority would be lost and that is exactly what they were doing.

    Elections have consequences, folks. Vote for your state level offices and return to a Constitutional Republic where the people have a voice.

    GG I have an unrelated question
    where you ever in the Navy ..
    I was a CTO and knew a guy who called himself griz. it was Hanza Okinawa..

It’s about time the good guys won. I hope that other states can point to these rulings in the future.

Slowly but surely one ruling, one piece of legislation, one State wide vote on Constitutional amendments at a time.

So I’ll parse this out for you. Cuz I live in NC.

The voters of NC voted for voter ID (Democracy!). And the legislature, democratically elected, fulfilled the wish of the voters (Democracy!)

The Dem dominated Supreme Court said, “y’all are racists!”

And then they were voted out of office (Democracy!).

Then the justices voted in said, we’re going to have voter ID as well as the district boundaries that our democratically elected legislature picked (Democracy!).

See, for Democrats, it’s only Democracy (!) when they get what they want.

    henrybowman in reply to John M. | April 29, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    “Republican legislators wanted a partisan court that would issue partisan opinions and that’s exactly what this is.”

    Want to see the same outrage from this hypocrite when Lieawatha packs SCOTUS.

      diver64 in reply to henrybowman. | April 30, 2023 at 7:09 am

      It is so strange that the State House and Senate were dominated by Democrats for over 100yrs and in all that time gerrymandering was A OK. Republicans took control, finally, and suddenly it’s evil. I took a look at the first set of proposed maps and they were far better than what the Dem controlled House had concocted before.

    gonzotx in reply to John M. | April 29, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    We’re a Republic

    Close The Fed in reply to John M. | April 30, 2023 at 9:01 am

    There is NO justification for any court to declare a duly enacted Constitutional Amendment “unconstitutional.” No authority for that.

    Judges usurp power to themselves that belongs to the citizens.

    They do this crap constantly. Trash.

Gerrymandering occurs explicitly, but also implicitly through immigration reform, welfare subsidies, etc.

Good for the GOP. The Democrats adhere to DIEversity ideology where all’s fair in lust and abortion.

I used to live along the edge of that oddly drawn district, it was known as the I-85 corridor district drawn to make room for a black set aside seat. That photo made national news a few times back then. In NC as well as the rest of the South, voting districts and other matters along with them were subject to oversight by the Voting Rights Act which eventually complicated mapping. Another factor is black voters nearly unanimous voting D out of tradition. When blacks learn to withhold their franchise a little better, some of this will dissipate. If Rs manage to hold 11 of 14 districts it will only be because we can’t figure out a way to make it 12..

E Howard Hunt | April 30, 2023 at 10:01 am

Here in Massachusetts, the State Elections Committee just favorably recommended amending the State Constitution, by plebiscite in 2026, to allow currently incarcerated, violent felons to vote. The stated purpose is to provide relief to “overincarcerated communities.”

Allowing jailhouse thugs from the slums to vote is said the be overwhelmingly approved of by the 18 to 29 year-old population.

What’s next, mandating predator impact statements at sentencing?

Fun Fact: 100% of the most “gerrymandered” Districts in the country, includuing NC, are “VRA” “minority-majority” Districts created fir the incredibly RACIST purpose of ensuring 100% safe districts for the worst racists to ever infest this country.

BierceAmbrose | April 30, 2023 at 2:17 pm

Don’t accept their framing. This isn’t about R-party doing R-party things. This is about governing ourselves, which these days, sadly, means running The Screaming D’s out of any and every-thing we want to fix.

“Three rulings from the new court, based on the law as passed, the state constitution as enacted, and the limits on judicial activism. It’s a shame it took a “new court” to undo what the prior court had done, at odds with law, precedent, and authority.

Thus it seems to me, as a citizen.

Speaking as poltically aligned, as the reporting framed it: If some reporting wants to associate one pary or another with some decisions, or positions, I’ll take being associated with applying the law as written. You wanna change the rules — pass an amendment. You wanna change the govt — pass a law. You wanna change who makes the calls — get elected. (“Elections have consequences.” someone once said.)

On the specific decisions

— We have the right to detemine how we’ll conduct elections and who can vote. That’s the state constitution, and state election law. The court should butt out.

— Gerrymandering is bad? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Gasp. Snort. Snerk. Hic. You riddiculous hacks. But for gerrymandering, you wouldn’t have a hint of a voice in anything, and you know it.

— Oh, yeah, criminal penalties for state crimes are — wait for it — for the legislature who makes those laws to define.

Sadly, a victory for transparency, and selff-government these days is partisan. I am not pro Feckless R. I am, sadly, with regret, anti Screaming D. Only because their antics and destruction drove me to it. I have, of necessity, given up on presuming honest engagement, or that they might have a point. What else do you do with cheerleaders for gibbering hordes of “mostly peaceful” protests, of crashed economies, of casual bans on whatever common practice catches their attention, of … too many failures, delivered with too much glee and contempt to list.

Tho we disagree about the most likely solutions, we still wish our opposition would get off their manipulation of the system to stay ensconsed in the system, and get to addressing the issues before us. We wish, but we are not hopeful.”

    CommoChief in reply to BierceAmbrose. | April 30, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    That’s fair. As a corollary we should add if we don’t like what the local or State GoP is doing or alternatively trust them to work diligently and effectively to implement the polices we do like then we have to be involved. Not necessarily b/c we love the GoP but b/c it is the only realistic near term organizational option to oppose the d/prog insanity.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to CommoChief. | May 1, 2023 at 5:35 pm

      Exactly so.

      The Feckless R’s are at least easier to infiltrate and hijack, as The Bad Orange Man demonstrated.

      The Donald iss certainly not a long-term R-party affiliate, or ideologically aligned. He wanted to be president because Snooty O insulted him in public. The two parties have ballot access tied, up, so to run in the general, he had to subvert one of them, first.

      Unfortunately for him, The God Emperor’s feral opportunist super-power kinda deserts him when he takes himself too seriously. Locally, however, we can use that skill without him or anyone else. This is the way.

inspectorudy | May 1, 2023 at 10:47 am

I think for the first time that I have been watching, this court made the correct decision. No Supreme Court of any state or our country should ever interfere with the decisions of the electorate. It should be permissible for them to be involved in voter fraud or such issues but not the rulings of the state legislature. I believe this is why the SCOTUS does not want want to hear issues involving gerrymandering from states. Voting has consequences and the voters must realize that when they vote. If you elect criminals, then you get criminal laws.

… took state courts out of partisan gerrymandering disputes …

I thought they decided this is Maryland a few years back when the Democratic Governor testified that the goal of redistricting was to diminish the representation of Republicans, and the court agreed.