redistricting

North Carolina lawmakers hope to have redistricting completed by the end of this month.  There are plenty of proposed maps floating about right now, but Western Carolina University Dr. Chris Cooper urges people not to overreact to any of them - because the only map that matters is the final one.

Cory Vaillancourt

The state legislative committee that will undertake redistricting in North Carolina made its way to the mountains Tuesday evening for its only meeting in the region.  

Almost 200 people showed up to the campus of Western Carolina University to listen and share comments about the redistricting process. About 50 people spoke during the public comment period.   

Kathleen Barnes represented the Transylvania County NAACP. She said she drove two hours to the meeting which she called “a public health risk” identifying that some people in the room were unmasked.

Dr. Chris Cooper

The 2020 U.S. Census figures arrived last week eagerly anticipated - and late (for a variety of reasons). 

North Carolina General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes next week.  After all the campaign rhetoric and money of 2020, the partisan makeup of Raleigh will still be the same.  And the major issue that lawmakers will take up in 2021 will be the same one that seemingly never left the headlines all last decade - redistricting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One-third of the North Carolina House districts that state legislators redrew this month because of previous excessive bias favoring Republicans are still flawed by partisanship and secrecy, victors in a recent redistricting lawsuit warned on Friday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Buoyed by a favorable ruling this month involving legislative districts, North Carolina voters sued again on Friday to overturn the state's congressional map, alleging Republican state lawmakers manipulated lines to maximize GOP seats.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Facing a deadline this week, the North Carolina legislature stayed on track to enact replacement districts for dozens of its seats on time, even as citizens critiqued the maps in a public meeting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline.

The Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment.

NC General Assembly

A panel of federal judges formally backed off Tuesday the idea of requiring a new congressional map for North Carolina's fall elections, one week after broaching the possibility when the judges declared the current lines illegal partisan gerrymanders.

Judges: Too Late For New NC Congressional Districts By November

Sep 5, 2018

A panel of federal judges formally backed off Tuesday the idea of requiring a new congressional map for North Carolina's fall elections, one week after broaching the possibility when the judges declared the current lines illegal partisan gerrymanders.

The Supreme Court is choosing not to take on a new case on partisan redistricting for now. Instead, the justices are sending a dispute over North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional districting map back to a lower court for more work.

The Supreme Court has already heard a major case about political line-drawing that has the potential to reshape American politics. Now, before even deciding that one, the court is taking up another similar case.

North Carolina has seen several efforts to take partisanship out of redistricting.  The latest appeal comes from two Mecklenburg County residents – District 92 Democratic State Representative Chaz Beasley and Republican Charles Jeter who used to represent that same district.

Both sides are declaring victory while many others are left scratching their heads after the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in Tuesday on two North Carolina gerrymandering cases.

It appears that judicial redistricting is again stalled in the North Carolina General Assembly. That comes after a recent show of confidence from leading state Republicans that the issue might pick up momentum.

Committee Meets Again To Discuss Judicial Changes

Jan 22, 2018
BEN GRAUMANN, EQUALITY NC

The Joint Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting met again Monday to discuss changes to the courts.  Possible changes include redistricting for judges and a "merit-selection" process that could bypass voters altogether.  Democrats argue Republicans are trying to rig the courts in their favor after seeing a number of decisions go against them.  Republicans say the changes are long overdue.  

BPR recorded the meeting in full.  

Federal judges have approved North Carolina legislative districts redrawn by an expert they hired to address their concerns about continued racial bias with some boundaries and new constitutional violations.

The News & Observer of Raleigh

Federal judges on Friday approved changes a court-appointed expert made to two dozen North Carolina legislative districts, agreeing that maps approved by Republican lawmakers last summer didn’t fully remove previous illegal racial bias.

Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer, via Associated Press

 The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a lower-court order that would have forced North Carolina Republican lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional districts by next week because of excessive partisan bias in current lines.

When it comes to drawing districts for congressional elections, House Speaker Tim Moore says North Carolina Republicans nailed it.

“Frankly, it's a model other states could follow,” says Moore. 

A panel of federal judges has denied a request from Republican lawmakers to delay redrawing all of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts.

A federal court's decision to strike down North Carolina's map of congressional districts has cast uncertainty over this year’s elections.

color:#0A0A0A">Federal judges ruled Tuesday that the boundaries drawn by Republican legislators constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander.  The judges gave lawmakers about two weeks to come up with a new map.


 

The federal judges relied heavily on the findings of Duke University mathematics and statistics professor, Dr. Jonathan Mattingly.  He used computer programming and an algorithm to create thousands of simulated congressional districting plans for North Carolina. 

The headline of Tuesday's federal ruling is an eye-catching one: All 13 North Carolina congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders. The deadline was equally eye-catching. The judges gave lawmakers just two weeks to redraw the whole map.

So did all this catch the eyes of lawmakers in Raleigh?

Not visibly. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening behind the scene.  

In what may be a landmark decision, a federal panel of judges has ruled all of North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders.

They've banned the map from being used in this year's election and ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by 5pm on January 24th.

Lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling.

This year's congressional election has just been thrown into chaos.

Late Tuesday, a panel of federal judges ruled unanimously that all of North Carolina's election districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are illegal partisan gerrymanders. All 13 districts must now be redrawn just weeks before the campaign season officially kicks off with candidate filings.

Ben Graumann, Equality NC

Updated Thursday 4pm 

A highly anticipated judiciary committee meeting was held Thursday afternoon.  For nearly 3 hours, Senate and House lawmakers discussed various merit selection proposals as well as new district maps for judges.  Democrats were skeptical of the GOP plans, especially considering the number of maps drawn for legislative and Congressional members that heavily favored Republicans.

A Stanford law professor hired by a three-judge panel to redraw North Carolina’s legislative districts testified Friday in a federal courtroom in Greensboro. Special Master Nathaniel Persily explained his changes to the district under questioning from judges and attorneys for Republican lawmakers.

A senate committee looking at judicial redistricting and reform will meet Wednesday in Raleigh, a few weeks after Democrats walked out of a previous meeting.

The Republican chairs had refused to allow a retired superior court judge invited by Democrats to address the committee.

WRAL

Friday update:

(Associated Press) The North Carolina House leader predicts redrawn election districts for trial court judges can be finalized with Senate Republicans by the end of January. But he's unsure what his colleagues think about a Senate proposal eliminating head-to-head judicial elections.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger appointed Thursday members of a special bipartisan joint committee tasked with recommending judicial changes to the General Assembly.

The filing period for North Carolina’s legislative seats begins in just six weeks. But election district boundaries are still up in the air. A federal court hearing in Greensboro this week may shed some light on whether judges consider efforts to redraw 28 districts to pass constitutional muster. 

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