Judgment day is approaching for far-left overreach in North Carolina. That’s the story after oral arguments before the state’s newly-minted conservative supreme court (by a 5-2 margin after the 2022 elections) showed a willingness to overturn the court’s prior redistricting decision.
As RedState has chronicled, the old Democratic supreme court majority in North Carolina went on a binge of making up statutes in order to strike down various Republican proposals. Those included a legally gerrymandered congressional map and voter ID. In the end, the court struck down the GOP map and instituted a “fair” map that resulted in a 7-7 split.
But as many of us predicted, that win looks to be temporary (WRAL).
Last year the court’s Democratic majority struck down new voting districts drawn by Republican lawmakers as unconstitutional gerrymanders. The lines denied North Carolinians the guarantee of free elections by allowing one political party to remain in power, the court’s majority wrote in a first-of-its-kind ruling. The decision to rehear that case came soon after Republicans flipped control of the Supreme Court in the 2022 elections, which has led critics to say the rehearing is based more on politics than any legal grounds.
If Republicans win this time, the case could ultimately leave the party with more power in the General Assembly. Nationally, it could also give Republicans stronger control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The GOP currently controls the chamber by a five-seat majority, giving Democrats hope of retaking the House in 2024. But that’s with North Carolina’s current maps.
Imagine writing that second sentence and thinking the Democrats have a case. It is an admission that the old liberal majority produced its legal reasoning with magic and fairy dust. There is no North Carolina statute that requires districts to be drawn to ensure equal representation among political sects. That is an absolutely insane contention, and the fact that it was a “first-of-its-kind ruling” is the dead giveaway.
Get a load of this statement from one of the radical justices left on the court.
The maps lawmakers originally wanted, before the court ruled them unconstitutional last year, would “ensure that Republicans will retain majorities in North Carolina’s Congressional districts and the General Assembly, even when voters really prefer the other party,” Earls said.
Earls was behind the original decision and wrote the dissent decrying the rehearing of the case. She’s also a ridiculous partisan, and I hate to break it to her, but there will always be voters who “really prefer the other party.” Her suggestion is totalitarian in that it assumes a court should somehow guarantee the outcomes of elections.
Truly, the Democrat argument here is the dumbest I’ve ever seen in a major legal case, and that’s saying something.
Republicans argued last year, and again Tuesday, that they’re free to draw the lines however they want.
The state constitution gives the legislature control over redistricting, with no explicit rules on what is or isn’t allowed.
The Supreme Court said that doesn’t mean the legislature is immune from judicial oversight. While the state constitution does give the legislature control over redistricting, the justices ruled last year, the constitution also guarantees that “all elections shall be free.”
How is an election not “free” if a district isn’t drawn to make it somehow politically neutral, an obviously impossible goal? And on what planet does a state supreme court have the power to dictate that?
Clearly, there is no legal justification for the last court’s decision to strike down the Republican map. They took a general statement from the state’s constitution and twisted it beyond all recognition to invent a standard that doesn’t actually exist.
Naturally, in the face of that lawbreaking, Democrats are calling for more lawbreaking.
The governor has zero statutory power to dictate redistricting in North Carolina. If he attempts to step in and override the state’s supreme court, that would be tantamount to an insurrection. There is no guarantee of “checks and balances” in government, at least not in practice. Whatever reality Democrats in North Carolina inhabit, it is not the one the rest of us reside in. They are going to get slapped down hard here, and it will be well deserved.