NC redistricting fight turns to state courts after ruling

Breaking Stories

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled federal courts aren’t the place to settle partisan gerrymandering disputes, opponents of North Carolina’s district maps are putting their hopes in state courts.

An election reform group, the state Democratic Party and voters will go to court in two weeks to try to persuade state judges that Republican-drawn General Assembly districts discriminate against Democrats based on their political beliefs and voting history.

What’s different in this case is that the plaintiffs — some of whom sued in federal court over the state’s congressional map, which ended with Thursday’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision against them — argue the House and Senate boundaries violate the state constitution, not the U.S. Constitution.

“We are confident that justice will prevail in the North Carolina courts,” said Bob Phillips with the North Carolina office of Common Cause, which is a plaintiff in both matters. “And we will continue to work with state lawmakers to reform our broken redistricting system that has left far too many without a voice in Raleigh.”?

Voting-rights advocates across the country have vowed to turn to state litigation after Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion addressing North Carolina and Maryland cases that federal courts have no authority to determine whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.

Addressing complaints of partisan gerrymandering in state courts has already succeeded in Pennsylvania, where last year the state Supreme Court struck down congressional districts based on language in the Pennsylvania constitution that is similar to North Carolina’s. That ruling led to the court redrawing congressional lines. Democrats picked up four additional seats in 2018.

The pending partisan gerrymandering case filed in Wake County court marks at least the eighth lawsuit challenging North Carolina maps on the basis of racial and partisan bias since the current round of redistricting began in 2011. The lawsuits resulted in redrawing congressional lines in 2016 and legislative districts in 2017 — both to address racial bias. The state has spent millions of taxpayer dollars defending the maps.

Unlike the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, the state Supreme Court that would hear the appeal of the trial court’s decision has six registered Democrats and one Republican.

Related listings

  •  High court sides with Crow tribe member in hunting dispute

    High court sides with Crow tribe member in hunting dispute

    Breaking Stories 05/20/2019

    The Supreme Court is siding with a member of the Crow tribe who was fined for hunting elk in Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest.The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Clayvin Herrera. He argued that when his tribe gave up land in present-day Montana a...

  • News attorneys: Opioid distribution data should be public

    News attorneys: Opioid distribution data should be public

    Breaking Stories 05/03/2019

    Attorneys for news organizations argued Thursday that the U.S. public should be allowed to see federal data about how prescription opioids were distributed as the nation’s overdose crisis was worsening.They urged a three-judge panel of the 6th ...

  • Quest for food stamp data lands newspaper at Supreme Court

    Quest for food stamp data lands newspaper at Supreme Court

    Breaking Stories 04/20/2019

    In the summer of 2010, reporters at South Dakota’s Argus Leader newspaper decided to request data about the government’s food assistance program, previously known as food stamps. They thought the information could lead to a series of stor...

Is Now the Time to Really Call a Special Education Lawyer?

IDEA, FAPE, CHILD FIND and IEPs: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with disabilities to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE starts with a school’s responsibility to identify that a child has a disability (Child Find) and create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to suit the needs of the child. Parents need to be persistent, dedicated and above all else aware of the many services and accommodations that their child is entitled to under the law. As early as this point within your child’s special education, many parents will often find themselves in the situation asking, “is now the time to really call a special education lawyer?” Here are a few things to consider when asking yourself that question.

Business News

Santa Ana, CA Workers' Compensation Lawyers We are one of Orange County’s leading Workers’ Compensation firms. >> read
Pennsylvania Employment Law Firm Attorney Marc E. Weinstein advocates for the rights of employees and minorities. >> read