The NC GOP's race-districting

Putting people of color into neat little packages:

It's the same old recipe, just cooks wearing different hats. And it comes with an added bitter mash of racial manipulation by cramming nearly half the state's African-Americans into a handful of bizarrely shaped districts that snake all over the map.

My son asked me the other night how many legal challenges had (already) been filed. At first I said "several", but then he asked for specifics, which I couldn't supply. Does anybody have a quick rundown of the suits to date?

Comments

None?

Seems early in the cycle of legal machinery. I sure hope somebody is coordinating this. If there were a hundred separate lawsuits, would that be a good thing? How about a hundred thousand?

There are many times in my life when I wish I had been a lawyer. This is one of them.

Who's building the definitive record of public and leaked statements on the scheming behind the Gerrymander?

Is there a legal defense fund?

Great questions

Hopefully there will be some answers soon. I thought that at least the NAACP had already filed a suit, but that may be my memory playing tricks on me.

p.s. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but I've got some wacky work hours and family in town, so I'm grabbing blog time where I can.

The NC Constitution requires

The NC Constitution requires drawing districts along county lines as a hedge against gerrymandering.

Unfortunately it was found by the Supreme Court that the Voting Rights Act preempted the NC Constitution in regard to districting.

In this way the Voting Rights Act has opened the door to full-on gerrymandering along racial boundaries in NC by the democrats who had full control over the districting process at the time.

Conservatives are now forced to use a democrat system of districting that was based on race and democrats complain that it is ... racist.

I would have preferred districts to be drawn along county lines but perhaps there is some value in how it has played out in that it is healthy for democrats to recognize how inherently racist they have been in respect to districting.

Partially wrong

I am glad someone is here posting the GOP talking points so I have something to respond to.

The NC Constitution does not apply to federal maps, so your claim doesn't work at all for the congressional maps. For the legislative maps, that finding was actually a justice department position, thrown out partially during the last round of redistricting with court cases in the early 2000s and then again in 2009.

That is why the current map puts everything into pods, and breaks as few county lines as possible. That is why the lines in Pender and New Hanover were redrawn before 2010.

Anyway, the congressional map proves the point that the GOP is doing this for partisan gain and not out of concerns for the VRA. They split neighborhoods, streets, etc not based on racial grounds but just because they could.

As an example, the lines bring in ONE voter from Sampson county and keep her separate from every other voter in the county. Neither district in Sampson is a majority minority district.

"Keep the Faith"

Federal Map?

The NC Constitution does not apply to federal maps, so your claim doesn't work at all for the congressional maps.

It is an odd thing,then, that the federal government does not draw what you call "federal maps" (quite the self-serving word choice). The reality is that the NC Legislature draws North Carolin's (in the extreme possessive) representatives' districts and until recently has done so free of all federal influence. They are, after all, districts for our state representatives, not some conjectural federal representative dependent on your "federal map".

NCGA:

Under the State Constitution, Senate and House districts must consist of contiguous territory. By tradition, the contiguity requirement also has been applied to Congressional districts. Contiguity means that all parts of a district must touch. The district must not have any detached parts.

In as much as my argument relies on tradition, you have a point. But in no reading of either our national Constitution nor our state Constitution can there be found a duty on the part of the federal government to meddle in state affairs. It fact, the tenth limits against your "federal maps".

free of federal influence???

That is just a complete lie; NC's maps have been under federal influence
since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. And the whole-county
provision IS COMPLETELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL ANYWAY. It is completely
incompatible with 1-person / 1-vote. In a completely shocking
novel form of jurisprudence, the NC Supreme Court ruled that
when a provision of the state constitution is incompatible with
federal law, the state constitutional provision can (SOMEHOW,
ONLY GOD and Bob Orr KNOW how) be "harmonized" with the federal
law (in this case, the federal constitution in the form of
the 14th amendment, equal protection, 1 person / 1 vote).
They basically tried to claim that you could split counties only
when you "needed" to. This is completely ridiculous; any PARTICULAR
split is NEVER "needed" since a DIFFERENT split would also always be
possible. The whole thing is just a license to lie. It was much clearer
and more correct the first time, WHEN THE WHOLE-COUNTY PROVISION WAS
JUST IGNORED.

A far better way TO ACTUALLY honor the whole-county principle would
have been simply TO ALLOW MULTI-MEMBER DISTRICTS, and in point of
actual fact, WHEN THE CONSTITUTION OF 1971 WAS ADOPTED after the 1970
census, all the districts WERE drawn as whole counties and they solved
the whole-county question simply by GROUPING COUNTIES TOGETHER in multiple-
member districts. IDIOTICALLY, THE SAME Republican NC Supreme Court that
said you had to honor the LONG-since-discarded-as-federally-unconstitutional
whole-county-provision, ALSO said that that very constitution WAS NOT COMPATIBLE
WITH MULTI-MEMBER DISTRICTS, EVEN THOUGH THE DISTRICTS ADOPTED AT *THE*SAME*TIME*AS*
that constitution,the FIRST districts adopted UNDER that constitution,
IN CONFORMANCE with the whole-county
provision, WERE MULTI-MEMBER (where they needed to be because single county
populations were not the right size to be exactly a whole number of districts)!
AND CONSERVATIVES ARE SUPPOSED TO *RESPECT* ORIGINAL INTENT?!?!? *NOT*!!!!!!!!!!

And, in any case, the whole-county provision ONLY APPLIES TO STATE LEGISLATIVE LINES,
NOT TO CONGRESSIONAL LINES. IT WAS EVER thus. The NC constitution
of 1971 (and as later amended) DOES NOT NOW HAVE AND HAS NEVER HAD
any whole-county provision regarding congressional district lines.

The fig-leaf they are trying to hide behind THIS time is "zero
deviation". They act like you can't deviate by more than ONE PERSON
from the ideal size as of Apr.2010 when the census was taken.
THAT IS IDIOTIC AND INSANE. There is NO POSSIBLE defense of THAT
level of precision given that THE POPULATION ITSELF CHANGES as
QUICKLY as it does. It is even LESS defensible to require absolute
zero deviation for U.S.House when they routinely allow UP TO 5% variation
at the STATE house level ( precisely to enable compliance with things
LIKE the whole-county provision; they are trying to defer to the
state's own judgment about principles that might help run its own
affairs; the Federal House is considered more something between
the individual voter and her own Federal representation).

Start

There have been no legal suits. There can not be, because there is nothing to sue. These maps are proposed, and no suits can be brought until they are passed by the legislature. Although even at that point it still has to go through the justice department and/or the district court before there is something to sue.

As for one vs a thousand, I am sure different groups will bring suit, but the appellate court and the such will choose one to rule on the whole map usually. The courts pile it all together.

"Keep the Faith"

Our National History Did Not Begin in the Sixties...

NC's maps have been under federal influence
since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.

Exactly my point when I said:

The reality is that the NC Legislature draws North Carolin's (in the extreme possessive) representatives' districts and until recently has done so free of all federal influence.

Our nation has a history prior to the boomer generation despite your assumptions otherwise.

The minutiae that follows your opening statement amounts to nothing more than rationalizing away our protections against gerrymandering via a racially based redistricting process created by democrats.

Back to the intent of the post:
To call the current legislature racist for being forced to use a racially based redistricting process created by democrats is to recognize the rationalized inherent racism so prominent in the current democrat party.

And that makes it right?

Let's stipulate that both parties suck and are bound by a fundamentally racist framework imposed by the VRA. This happens to be a point I agree with.

Now what? Exploit the imposition of VRA for political benefit?

For better and worse, the GOP is in charge. What advice do you have for them? Are you more interested in progress toward fairness, or more interested in paybacks that perpetuate an ongoing fuck-them frenzy?

No equivocating. Just answer the question.

1. I am more interested in progress toward fairness.
2. I am more interested in paybacks that perpetuate the fuck-them frenzy.

There are no answers to life in binary extemism ...

Although you may favor a binary approach to issues, answers are rarely found in the bookends of extremism. This is especially the case when those bookends heavily reflect the biases of the individual presenting them.

Futhermore, I reject your use of the term "fairness" as it has become highly dependent on moral relativism. (For example: It it fair that homosexuals and Muslim women are treated as unequal in many Muslim nations? Moral relativism guides the left's silence.)

Although my preference is that we allow ourselves to be guided toward limiting gerrymandering via our Constitution and tradition, I accept that there is a benefit in the path to that goal that travels through exposing the racism inherent in the current system. Until we all agree the current redistricting process is racially based and inherently wrong it will not change.

Nonsense

I added the words "more interested in" to both options specifically to allow all the wiggle room anyone could ever want. Are you more interested in fairness or are you more interested in the fuck-you frenzy? Binary, yes, but extremist? Hardly. The fact that you can't bring yourself to answer the question speaks volumes.

I agree that the current redistricting process is racially based and inherently wrong. Now will you answer my question, or not?

Oh, I'm sorry. Another case of binary extremism. You must have a hell of a time with traffic lights.

:)

For what it's worth, I am longtime resister when it comes to the "tyranny of or," in business and in many personal choices. In matters of moral dilemma, however, rejecting binary extremism almost always comes with a heavy helping of sleaze.

The Value of Paths Traveled...

The fact that you can't bring yourself to answer the question speaks volumes.

I did:
Although my preference is that we allow ourselves to be guided toward limiting gerrymandering via our Constitution and tradition, I accept that there is a benefit in the path to that goal that travels through exposing the racism inherent in the current system. Until we all agree the current redistricting process is racially based and inherently wrong it will not change.

...An example of the paths we travel often accounting for as much as the destination.

And:

You must have a hell of a time with traffic lights.

No. I find the yellow light quite useful at traffic stops and life's questions.

PS

You wrote:

(For example: It [sic] it fair that homosexuals and Muslim women are treated as unequal in many Muslim nations? Moral relativism guides the left's silence.)

What guides the right's silence? Disdain? Hatred? Selfishness? Fear? God? Greed?

To be clear, I don't speak for the left, and you certainly don't speak for the right.

But the simple answer to your question is this: Of course it's not fair.

See how easy it is to stand for something?

What do you stand for?

What guides the right's

What guides the right's silence? Disdain? Hatred? Selfishness? Fear? God? Greed?

The right's support for a democratic Middle East can not be characterized as silence.

And,

But the simple answer to your question is this: Of course it's not fair.

Agreed, conclusions are easy. Action, however, is difficult when caught within a web of moral relativism in which all cultures are equal and therefore, with the exception of your own, above criticism.

For your consideration, Frog

A few words from a former two-term President:

The Administration is strongly committed to renewing the Voting Rights Act, and therefore supports House passage of H.R. 9. The Voting Rights Act is one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in the Nation's history, and the President has directed the full power and resources of the Justice Department to protect each citizen's right to vote and to preserve the integrity of the Nation's voting process. The Administration is pleased the House is taking action to renew this important legislation.

Just like the Civil Rights Act that preceded it, the VRA was passed (and repassed) to correct some serious flaws in our system. They're not perfect, but I don't believe we've achieved a level of collective enlightenment that would allow us to live harmoniously without them.

Rationalizing Sanctioned Gerrymandering ...

Yes, that is an accurate representation of the rationalizations employed by incumbents of both parties in defense of the VRA, an act that effectively increases incumbency through not only sanctioned gerrymandering, but, in NC's case, enforced gerrymandering.

I'm going to have to look up

I'm going to have to look up "binary extremism"

I'm a moderate Democrat.