Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, December 01, 2016

A federal court on Tuesday ordered North Carolina to hold a special legislative election next year after 28 state House and Senate districts are redrawn to comply with a gerrymandering ruling. U.S. District Court judges earlier this year threw out the current legislative district map, ruling that 28 of them were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. They allowed the 2016 election to continue under the old maps, but ordered legislators to draw new districts in 2017. Tuesday's order settled the question of whether the new districts would take effect for the regularly scheduled 2018 election cycle, or if a special election would be required. "While special elections have costs, those costs pale in comparison to the injury caused by allowing citizens to continue to be represented by legislators elected pursuant to a racial gerrymander," the three-judge panel wrote in the order.

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"The court recognizes that special elections typically do not have the same level of voter turnout as regularly scheduled elections, but it appears that a special election here could be held at the same time as many municipal elections, which should increase turnout and reduce costs." The order gives legislators a March 15 deadline to draw new district maps. Every legislator whose district is altered will have their current term shortened. A primary would be held in late August or early September -- the legislature is responsible for setting the exact date -- with the general election in November, the order says.

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Maybe this case can become a template for other states where Republicans (or Democrats) have drawn such friendly maps that the one party often wins nearly 55% of total votes cast but only gain 40-something% of the seats. If this survives appellate court scrutiny a modicum of power will be returned to the people from the politicians stacking the deck in their own party's favor.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-30 04:41 PM | Reply

#1

You are conflating issues. This is about racial gerrymandering, next week the Court will hear argument on the issue. Basically it pits the VRA requirement of considering race in redistricting against SC precedent against use of race in redistricting.

A case in the pipeline may see partisan gerrymandering before the Court soon.

#2 | Posted by et_al at 2016-11-30 05:26 PM | Reply

Thank you, even though I knew that, I did conflate the two separate types in my comment.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2016-11-30 06:41 PM | Reply

it's time the ppl who built this country took it back.

#4 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-12-01 08:37 AM | Reply

@ ET AL and TONYROMA

I think this kind of goes without saying but.... While these are separate and distinct issues there is definitely a lot of overlap between them. Racial and Partisan go hand in hand across significant physical areas of the countries population because of voting tendencies. They aren't the only factors obviously but they do play a large role and overlap.

#5 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2016-12-01 04:45 PM | Reply

#5

True enough, the effect, stacking the deck, is the same no matter the label. Yet, legally and analytically, they're distinct constitutional issues. For example, partisan gerrymandering raises political issues courts typically stay out of because redistricting is inherently a political function. It seems the WI panel kinda shoehorned around the political question doctrine.

#6 | Posted by et_al at 2016-12-01 11:24 PM | Reply

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