There have been a host of redistricting reform proposals submitted in the General Assembly this session. While most are remarkably bad bills that have only narrow partisan support, there are a couple that enjoy at least some support from legislators in both parties. One of those is HB 140.
However, now that leftists smell blood with the Common Cause vs Lewis partisan gerrymander case heading towards an eventual date with a NC Supreme Court controlled by a 6-1 Democratic majority, they are throwing bipartisanship out the window. A typical example is NC Policy Watch’s Rob Schofield, who sees no reason to “settle” for a bi-partisan compromise like HB 140 when total victory seems so close.
Interestingly, Schofield came out against including a constitutional amendment this session, claiming that the legislature can do all that needs to be done “merely by passing a statutory change.” Of course, what the General Assembly gives by statute it can take away by statute. Once the state Supreme Court mandates Democratic Party-friendly districts and the Left takes over the General Assembly, they can change the redistricting statutes to cement their power under the some imagined “fair” redistricting process.
Having a constitutional amendment limiting partisan gerrymandering would also give the state Supreme Court less freedom to impose districts on the state; it is harder to justify making up redistricting rules to help the Democratic Party based on unrelated parts of the state constitution when there are specific rules regulating the process.
And, of course, constitutional amendments are not subject to veto, meaning that Gov. Roy Cooper could not dominate the process.
So far, there are only two redistricting proposals that have bipartisan support in the General Assembly: HB 140 and HB 69. If people on the left like Schofield start coming out against HB 69 as well, it will be final proof that what they want is not “fairness” but power.