Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Lawmakers request help from SCOTUS after 'disruptive' partisan gerrymandering ruling

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper blasts 'technologically diabolical gerrymandering' in his home state NC Gerrymandered Map Ruled Unconstitutional By Panel Of Judges
Sammy Stanley | 14 January, 2018, 20:31

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 nearly immediately. Candidate filing opens February 12 and runs through the end of the month.

Districts done in haste - should this ruling stand - will not be ideal, but if they can pass muster from these three judges, citizens can have more confidence in them than they do in the current ones.

Basically, their ruling says congressional districts as drawn violated the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause because they were created to favor Republicans over Democrats. The judges in the North Carolina case have given Republican lawmakers until January 24 to offer replacement maps or yield to an appointed special master. It throws a new wrinkle and more uncertainty into the 2018 election cycle in North Carolina a month before candidates were scheduled to file for office.

"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. "The court was clear in demanding a real remedy before the 2018 elections, and we expect the General Assembly to respect that order".

But Republicans plan to fight the ruling, to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Hitmen kidnap, torture, and murder wrong person
Zengotita-Torres worked with the intended victim at Ross Dress for Less (pictured) in Kissimmee and was accidentally targeted. Gibson said that's when Ramos and Rivera realized they had abducted the wrong person, but chose to continue with their plan.

Republicans, however, promise an appeal. Johnson, a lecturer in journalism, is available to speak with media about the decision, election law, gerrymandering, possible appeals to the case, similar cases before the Supreme Court and related issues. Hise and state Rep. David Lewis have led redistricting efforts in the legislature.

RUSTY JACOBS, BYLINE: A federal court had already found that two of North Carolina's congressional districts drawn in 2011 were illegally racially gerrymandered. Mark Johnson, an election law and First Amendment expert at the University of Kansas, said the case - the first in which a federal court has struck down a statewide congressional map because of partisan districting - will have long-lasting legal effects.

In 2011 Wisconsin Republicans completely controlled the redistricting process for the first time in four decades.

While courts have found that gerrymandering on a racial basis is clearly unconstitutional, they had yet to rule definitively on whether partisanship alone could yield unconstitutional voting maps.

And Republicans, woozy with having power over redistricting after 100 years or so, simply couldn't control themselves and drew legislative and congressional districts to ensure their power, their majority - which they won under old maps, fair and square - would be maintained, no matter how skewed the district designs were.

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