Editorial: True 'democratic process' doesn't lead to a result 'incompatible with democratic principles'
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 -- There is no doubt that these gerrymandered congressional and legislative district maps only look to give one political party a permanent strangle-hold on governmental power. The North Carolina Supreme Court must uphold that the power resides in the people of North Carolina and not a self-perpetuating permanent majority in the legislature.Posted — Updated
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.
A single party now in power in the state legislature will rule North Carolina from now and as long as our republic lasts -- if the decision handed down on Tuesday by three state Superior Court judges is allowed to stand.
The judges were unwavering in their dislike of the voting districts enacted by the legislature.
So, the judges say, an undemocratic legislature or congress is fine as long as it was conceived as the result of a “democratic process.” With that concept in place, the political party in power now will be able to control the designation of election districts now and in the future – and draw those lines to perpetuate its majority forever.
Minority representation from the state to the U.S. House and the legislature is significantly diminished under the current plans. While the state is set to add a congressional seat, the current two-seats held by minorities would be cut to one.
“Plaintiffs have failed to make the requisite evidentiary showing that the General Assembly sought to dilute the voting strength of Blacks based upon their race, or that Blacks have less of an opportunity to vote for or nominate members of the electorate less than those of another racial group,” the judges said in their order.
So, the judges ASSUME that the legislature’s mapmakers targeted voters in certain districts because they were Democrats – even though in most of those targeted areas it just so happened that these same voters were Black. And they call that “coincident?” And this is from three judges who themselves had to run and be elected to office.
These three judges determined that the election district maps they were asked to review are:
- “Incompatible with democratic principles;” and.
- “subject our State to ridicule;” and
- “a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting.”
It is quite a stretch – even amid 260 pages of attempted justification – to find that they “comply with the objective constraints contained in the North Carolina Constitution.”
This is a matter of basic fairness to the voters of North Carolina.
It is an essential element of a representative democracy in our state to assure every North Carolinian has a voice in their elected representative branches of government.
There is no doubt that these gerrymandered congressional and legislative district maps only look to give one political party a permanent strangle-hold on governmental power.
The North Carolina Supreme Court must uphold that the power resides in the people of North Carolina and not a self-perpetuating permanent majority in the legislature.
It must overturn this ruling, declare the maps unconstitutional and should appoint four former state Supreme Court justices – two Republicans and two Democrats – to draw the new lines.
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