NAACP still dissatisfied with NC congressional map

Posted February 22, 2016

— The state chapter of the NAACP called on federal judges Monday to throw out the map of North Carolina's 13 U.S. House districts that lawmakers approved last week, along with the five-year-old map of state legislative districts.

The congressional map is back before a three-judge panel that ruled on Feb. 5 that lawmakers relied too heavily on the race of voters in 2011 when they set the boundaries for the 1st Congressional District and the 12th Congressional District.

The voters who challenged those two districts have asked the judges to decide by March 18 whether the new map passes muster, but NAACP officials said the judges ought to draw a map themselves, as another panel of judges did recently in Virginia.

NAACP officials said the new map still disproportionately packs minority voters across North Carolina into three congressional districts, even though lawmakers used only the results of recent elections – not the race of voters – to draw the map.

"You can, in fact, use partisanism as a cover for another racial agenda," said Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president. "They have abused the Voting Rights Act 50 years after its signing, and we believe it is a great travesty."

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NAACP attorney Irving Joyner said the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of a stay of the judges' decision made him optimistic.

"The fact that no justices on the court issued a dissenting opinion gives us real hope that the Supreme Court is tired of these cases coming from North Carolina that are constructed for the sole purpose of undermining the voting strength of African-Americans," Joyner said.

He said the NAACP will petition the Supreme Court to combine all of the state's redistricting cases, including a challenge to state House and Senate districts, which he said are also unconstitutional.

"The same logic, the same justifications that the General Assembly used to draw the congressional districts was the exact same thing that they used to draw the legislative districts," he said. "We need a decision as soon as possible."

The lawsuit challenging the legislative districts is scheduled to be heard by federal judges in April.

North Carolina Republican Party director Dallas Woodhouse said the new congressional map complies fully with the judges' instructions and should be upheld.

"Unfortunately, it appears the NAACP wants to inject race back into congressional map drawing and wants to do so for the purpose of electing Democrats and no other purpose whatsoever," Woodhouse said in a statement.

Barber urged the courts to resolve the matter quickly, noting that the state has already had two elections in the unconstitutional districts.


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North Carolina's Congressional District 12, currently represented by Greensboro Democrat Alma Adams, snakes up the Interstate 85 corridor and includes areas in Charlotte, the Triad and several cities in between. It was one of two districts federal judges found unconstitutional on Feb. 5, ruling they were drawn across racial lines.

Census estimates from 2014 show the district has a population of more than 778,000. About 51 percent of its residents are black, compared with about 22 percent for the state as a whole.

Even prior to redistricting by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2011 however, District 12's odd shape has been used by critics as a clear example of gerrymandering to capture certain demographics. But federal judges in Friday's ruling took careful note of the increase of the district's black voting age population from 43.8 percent to 50.7 percent in the most recent move to redistrict.

"Such a consistent and whopping increase makes it clear that the general assembly's predominant intent regarding district 12 was also race," Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote for the majority.

As of Feb. 5, 354 people in the district requested absentee ballots for the March 15 primary, according to the State Board of Elections.


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  • Raleigh Rose Feb 25, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Ensuring fair voting rights doesn't work that way. Everyone's vote should count equally and gerrymandering the districts to ensure you marginalize this group or that group is wrong. That is why we are having to have the maps re-drawn. If they had been drawn following the law in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation.

  • John Lobenstein Feb 25, 2016
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    Mr Barber and Mr. Joyner need to realize that just because LIFE is a four letter word it is not something nasty or vulgar and get one.

  • Chance Loria Feb 24, 2016
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    What the NAACP needs to realize is WE, the MAJORITY residents of NC, are satisfied. Get over it!!! If you don't like it, move!

  • Chance Loria Feb 24, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

  • Brandon White Feb 24, 2016
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    I agree with all the posters on here. But, are we tired of talking? You need to ask yourself what YOU are going to do about it? Find out the NAACP's corporate partners and write a well formulated letter to them, expressing your dissatisfaction with the NAACP. Tell them you will not buy their products. Also, you will contact your employer and their 401K provider and demand they divest themselves from any NAACP corporate partner. The Founder's class consists of: PepsiCo, AT&T, Chevron, State Farm, CVS, Hyundai, Southwest Airlines and UPS.

  • Steve Clark Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    The NAACP is dissatisfied ... this is my shocked face :-l
    "You can, in fact, use partisanism as a cover for another racial agenda," said Rev. William Barber
    You can also 'find racism' anywhere if you're specifically seeking it out, Rev Barber

  • Sonja Yagel Feb 24, 2016
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    The NAACP and Barber wouldn't be happy if they were given the whole world dipped in gold and handed to them on a silver platter. Nothing is ever enough for them.

  • David Lewis Feb 24, 2016
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    Did anyone really think the NAACP was going to be satisfied?

  • John Gardner Feb 23, 2016
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    Allowing the NAACP to have a say so in this makes as much since as allowing the KKK to have input.

  • Joey Cuddington Feb 23, 2016
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    I think all of NC's Judicial Districts are made up of "whole" counties -- not pieces and parts. Do the same with congressional districts. If a "group" of people don't like their district - move to your Happy Place and get on with life!!!