Following the Common Cause v. Lewis decision last month ordering the General Assembly to redraw legislative districts, I noted that the left may find results of their victory underwhelming.
It has been an article of faith on the left that North Carolina is turning blue and that the only thing holding them back from taking power is “unfair” gerrymandered districts. However, the reality of North Carolina’s shifting politics is more complicated than that. That reality meant that the remedial districts drawn under court order did not help the Democratic Party as much as they would have liked and prompting attempts to get the court to alter its ruling.
Well, the court accepted the remedial maps in full yesterday. In doing so the court found that:
- The General Assembly conducted the process in public view (overruling objections from Common Cause).
- No partisan consideration or election results data was used to draw the maps (overruling objections from Common Cause).
- The maps comply with the Voting Rights Act.
- Incumbents were not improperly unpaired (overruling objections from Common Cause).
So, by criteria laid out by the court, the maps drawn by the General Assembly in September were the fair maps advocates on the left claim that they have been seeking. Of course, these maps do not guarantee a Democratic majority, so I expect that the complaints of “unfair” maps will continue.
PS: The same court has also issued a preliminary injunction stopping the use of current congressional maps, so we can expect another round of redistricting in a few weeks.