Republican Leaders File Motion To Put Gerrymander Ruling On Hold

Map from the office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Map from the office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The consolidated lawsuits, Common Cause v. Rucho and League of Women Voters v. Rucho, may have national implications.

A lawyer in the Pennsylvania case, Alice Ballard, says the U.S. Supreme Court should make the final decision.

In February 2016, then N.C. Sen. In the 1993 case, Shaw v. Reno, the Supreme Court ruled a gerrymander created to increase the voting power of racial minorities may violate the Equal Protection Clause.

In 2016, judges scrapped the congressional map used in 2012 and 2014. Those districts were racially gerrymandered, they said. The discussion has since shifted to partisan lines.

The justices on the state's high court - five Democrats and two Republicans - have scheduled oral arguments on the constitutionality of the maps for next Wednesday.

"I think this is a poorly reasoned decision". The focus of Wynn's ruling are the state's 13 U.S. House seats, 10 of which are held by Republicans.

In July 2017, Wynn led the panel presiding over Covington v.

When Republican Gov. Pat McCrory lost his re-election that fall-a statewide race, so there was no gerrymander-he quickly accused the Democrats of voter fraud, but offered no proof, as Democracy North Carolina documented in an extensive report.

"The task of prescribing election regulations was given, in the first instance, to political actors who make decisions for political reasons", Circuit Court Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote in the majority opinion in the case delivered by a court that was split 2-1.

"The pattern is that Judge Jim Wynn is going to rule against this legislature every opportunity he gets".

Forget the math, though - Republicans made the court's decision easy enough when Representative David Lewis admitted it aloud.

He even said, "I propose that we draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats because I do not believe it's possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats".

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But on January 11, Lewis dismissed contentions of excessive gerrymandering. Before legislators even gathered to talk about the congressional districts, and before the public was allowed to have its say, the maps were a done deal.

In its ruling Tuesday striking down our state's election districts, a panel of three judges slapped hard at the lawmakers who drew them.

Stephanopoulos also noted that the ruling emphasized the judicial branch must step in when political power is abused.

The plaintiffs "have failed to meet their burden of proving that the 2011 plan, as a piece of legislation, clearly, plainly, and palpably violates the Pennsylvania Constitution", Brobson said in his recommendation on December 29.

Special masters are outside experts who advise courts. Legislators have reason to argue that courts are overreaching. The case is thus historic. Judges largely held back from partisan squabbles, he added. A Supreme Court ruling could change the way that electoral districts are drawn around the country. The motion states the ruling in the Wisconsin case would likely affect North Carolina's case as well.

As most court-watchers see it, swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy has been quietly encouraging someone to bring him such a test so that he can finally have an excuse to take on gerrymandering.

"They have to reintroduce themselves", he said of the incumbents.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, Riggs said it would likely have to be on an expedited review in order for the justices to hear arguments this term.

Fair Districts PA and other good government groups are sponsoring an informational forum 7-9 p.m. Friday in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. Since that statement was never defined, "we have no basis on which to define clear, manageable, and politically neutral standards", Kennedy said.

"Prohibiting the state from using the duly enacted districting map that governed its last election cycle is not just practically disruptive, but represents a grave and irreparable sovereign injury", Strach stated in the request for intervention.

A three-judge panel on Wednesday rejected the argument that the map should be thrown out because it gives a political advantage to Republicans. If the court finds that the new map is still too partisan, it will draw its own map.

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