Redistricting opponents want high court to delay NC primary

Posted January 6

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— Opponents of the legislative and congressional districts drawn by the Republican-dominated General Assembly in 2011 argued before the North Carolina Supreme Court Monday that the voting maps are unconstitutional.

The group, led by the state NAACP chapter and Democracy North Carolina, want the court to push back the candidate filing period and the May 6 primary so that legal issues surrounding the maps can be settled.

A special three-judge panel upheld the maps in July, saying that they had not showed "a violation of any cognizable equal protection rights of any North Carolina citizens, or groups thereof, will result."

The U.S. Department of Justice also has passed the maps under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Opponents allege that the districts were drawn based on racial considerations. They maintain that the maps unfairly divide too many counties and that they pack black voters in some districts and exclude them from others.

"If there is a history of African-American voters in that region of the state not being able to be elected," said Anita Earls, executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, "the crucial question is not does racial polarized voting exist. The crucial question is does it exclude the choices of black voters. Are candidates of choice of black voters usually defeated?"

State Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, who helped draft the new voting maps, said he is confident that the Supreme Court will uphold them.

"The law is very clear. There is nothing wrong with partisan advantage (in drawing districts), but you have to follow all of the other important parts of the law," Rucho said after the court hearing.

The Supreme Court often takes 60 to 90 days to issue its decisions, but it's unclear if the court will rule earlier on the call to delay the candidate filing period, which begins in February.


This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • foolmeonce Jan 7, 11:58 a.m.

    I'm so tired of people who think the democrat party is their savior, and the republicans don't care about anyone but rich folks. the democrat party is no friend of the working middle class, nor is it a friend of the poor. Their only concern is to stay in power. The rate of poverty hasn't changed since the War on Poverty was declared by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Instead, the democrats have perpetuated an underclass of welfare recipients in order to stay in power. People need jobs, not a welfare check. Children need both parents, not absent fathers.

  • jackaroe123 Jan 7, 11:36 a.m.

    "I was making the point that some of you who are so down on the unfairly privileged white folk, and can't seem to wait until they are no longer a factor, might want to look at the microcosm of Detroit and other utopias that drove out their white population."

    You're just digging yourself into a deeper hole. People are down on unfairness, and where privilege leads to cluelessness, people seek to educate and open people's eyes. No one is "down on unfairly privileged white folk" wholesale. I'm White. I can acknowledge that I've been fortunate as a result. I'm humble about it and want everyone else to be treated as fairly as I have, but I don't feel guilty about it.

    When you misinterpret it as people hatin' on Whites, you miss the point. When you respond from your incorrect assumption that we'll be sorry when the White people are gone, you're reinforcing the supremacist attitude that Whites are better. It's like you don't even know what "White privilege" is, and then go on to epitomize it

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 7, 10:41 a.m.

    "The U.S. Department of Justice also has passed the maps under the federal Voting Rights Act."

    Sounds pretty clear cut to me. Same thing has always been done in the past, just a different party has the power this time. That somehow Republicans have taken it to a knew low is laughable .... they just equaled what democrats have always done. In this case I would say "2 Lows" don't make a right. The "2 lows" being BOTH parties.

  • bji Jan 7, 10:25 a.m.

    "Republicans complained for years--and sued after every census to try to adjust the boundaries. Now that they're in charge, they've taken gerrymandering to a new low."

    There is nothing too low for a Republican!

  • bji Jan 7, 10:24 a.m.

    "Having said that I know some Dem. that would vote for a cat,"

    That is because most cats are smarter than Republicans! Who else hands the keys to the devil and says my eyes are closed, now put the pedal to the floor . . . only naive and highly suggestible GOP supporters!

  • oleguy Jan 7, 8:51 a.m.

    A lot of Rep. are registered as Dem. In order to vote in the primarys past, It was a southern tradition, Reg. Dem. vote Rep. Your neighbors knew you were a Reg. Dem. But how you voted once the curtain was pulled? Having said that I know some Dem. that would vote for a cat,

  • WralCensorsAreBias Jan 6, 5:13 p.m.

    Someone let Barber know this isn't about him. The elections will carry on as planned.

  • stymieindurham Jan 6, 5:10 p.m.

    NC has 42% MORE registered Democrats than Republicans, yet Republican gerrymandering got them 9 Repubs out of 13 State Representatives.

    You must be blind if you think gerrymandering did that. I think it was folks were tired of the democrat tax and spend machine.

  • lessismore Jan 6, 5:08 p.m.

    Democrats don't like having equal race distribution in precincts. Why not?

  • geoherb1 Jan 6, 5:07 p.m.

    Republicans complained for years--and sued after every census to try to adjust the boundaries. Now that they're in charge, they've taken gerrymandering to a new low.