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Federal Court Orders New Elections in North Carolina Due to Racial Gerrymandering

Looks like there was more than just vote tampering going on in North Carolina…

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Federal court orders North Carolina to hold special 2017 elections after ruling “racial gerrymander” of districts unconstitutional

NC lawmakers must redraw legislative map that won the GOP veto-proof majorities despite losing 2012’s popular vote

North Carolina lawmakers have been ordered by a U.S. federal court to redraw 28 state House and Senate districts and to hold a special legislative election next year after the court struck down the state’s legislative map as an unconstitutional “racial gerrymander.”

A three-judge panel of the Middle District Court ruled Tuesday that the Republican-drawn legislative map had illegally packed African-American and Hispanic voters into a few districts, ruling that 28 of them were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The judges found North Carolina’s legislative districts to be so racially biased that they are forcing the state to redo its elections next year.

In an 83-page ruling last summer, the same three-judge panel found that Republican lawmakers’ “new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” While the court ruled at the time that 28 of the General Assembly’s 170 districts were illegal racial gerrymanders, it decided it was too late in the election cycle to redraw new maps and hold elections in November. On Tuesday, the judges ordered lawmakers to redraw its own districts by March 15, meaning those elected to the state House and Senate a few weeks ago in districts ordered to be redrawn would serve just one year, not two as expected.

“This gives the state a total of seven months from the time the districts were held to be unconstitutional, which is longer than it took the 2011 legislature to redistrict the entire state,” read the order by Judges James Wynn, Thomas Schroeder and Catherine Eagles. The ruling also requires lawmakers to submit new maps to the court within seven days of passage.

This is a major blow to Republican control of the state legislature in North Carolina.

Democrats in North Carolina carried the popular vote for Congress and won a 7-6 majority in the state’s House delegation in the 2010 election, under the redistricting plan drafted by Democrats in 2001. As Executive Editor of the non-partisan, non-profit ReclaimTheAmericanDream.org, Hedrick Smith, explained, in 2012, Democratic House candidates again won a statewide popular vote majority for the House, but a new gerrymandered map drawn by the Republican-dominated legislature allowed the GOP to emerge with 9 seats to 4 for the Democrats. Republican state lawmakers  managed to win veto-proof majorities in North Carolina despite losing the popular vote in 2012, by drawing up such racially gerrymandered districts to dilute the power of voters of color.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Second American Revolution, The New Jim Crow

 

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