Tuesday, June 19, 2018 -- A round up of opinion, commentary and analysis on: Efforts to limit partisan gerrymandering falter at Supreme Court, legal battle over HB2 returns to federal court in Winston-Salem, Trump's border policy under continued fire, entire NC communities will be affected by sea-level rise and more.
GERRYMANDER CAN KICKED DOWN TO TOBACCO ROAD?
SCOTT BAUER & GARY ROBERTSON: High court decision extends legal battle over gerrymandering (AP reports) -- Democrats hoped a Wisconsin case would be the vehicle the U.S. Supreme Court would use to strike down highly partisan gerrymandering of electoral maps. When those hopes fizzled, attention turned to N.C. A case challenging that battleground state's congressional districts appears to offer stronger evidence of harm.
ANNE BLYTHE: Is NC partisan gerrymander case up next after Supreme Court 'punts' on Wisconsin and Maryland?
(McClatchy Newspapers report) -- The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped making a landmark ruling on Monday about when gerrymandering for partisan gain goes too far, leaving some legal analysts to speculate that North Carolina could have the next case to test that question. The justices issued long-awaited rulings in Wisconsin and Maryland cases that could have had a profound stamp on legislative redistricting in the states and reshape American politics. Instead, the justices sent both cases back to lower courts for further proceedings, a move largely described on social media as "a punt."
ADAM LIPTAK: Supreme Court Avoids an Answer on Partisan Gerrymandering
(New York Times reports) -- The Supreme Court declined to address the central questions in two closely watched challenges to partisan gerrymandering, putting off for another time a ruling on the constitutionality of voting districts designed by legislatures to amplify one party’s political power.
RICHARD PILDES: Will the Court Ever Address Gerrymandering?
(New York Times column) -- Until we shift to a more sensible system than having partisan state legislatures create election districts, judicial constraints would be welcome. Monday’s decisions reject one means of challenging partisan gerrymanders under the Constitution, but the court is soon going to be faced with other approaches.
GOP looks to override vetoes on new parties, maps (AP reports) -- Republican legislators are moving to try to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes, this time on legislation limiting candidates for new parties and redrawing judicial districts in the state’s two largest counties.
More arrested in final week of demonstrations (AP reports) -- More than 130 people have been arrested or cited by police at the Legislative Building during six weeks of non-violent action as part of a national civil rights movement seeking largely liberal-leaning demands.
Candidate begin filing to run in judicial races (AP reports) -- The first day candidates can file to run for state judgeships attracted more than 120 people seeking seats on the bench this November.
POLICY & POLITICS
MICHAEL HEWIETT: Legal battle over HB2 returns to federal court in Winston-Salem on June 25
(Winston-Salem Journal reports) -- House Bill 2, widely decried as discriminatory against gay and transgender people, may have been repealed, but the legal fight it led to is far from over. On June 25, a federal judge will hold a hearing on pending motions in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem. State Republicans and the president of the UNC system want the lawsuits against the state to go away, but plaintiffs represented by the ACLU of North Carolina and Lambda Legal argue that the law legislators replaced HB2 with doesn’t do enough to protect LGBT people.
A cruel Trump. A cowed Congress
(Charlotte Observer) -- Donald Trump's policy of separating families is abhorrent. Thom Tillis, Richard Burr and other members of Congress can step in
End Trump’s border policy now
(Greensboro News & Record/ Winston-Salem Journal) -- The Trump administration’s new border policy that heartlessly separates children from their parents has been a cruel disaster and should be rescinded immediately.
Our government is destroying families
(Hendersonville Times-News) -- The administration’s war against immigrant families has to end. It is cruel and beneath the ideals of this nation. At our nation’s southern border, children, some as young as babies, are being ripped from the arms of their weeping mothers. These aren’t even people who have broken the law. Some of these people are fleeing violence and persecution. They have come here asking for asylum. Yet the U.S. government’s first act is to take their children from them. Parents and children are separated and placed in different detention facilities. The media were given a tour of one such facility located in a former Wal-Mart in Texas. A U.S. senator toured another and said he saw adults and children held in large pens like cages.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
REBECCA MARTINEZ: Entire NC Communities Will Be Affected By Sea-Level Rise
(WUNC-FM reports) In 30 years, more than 15,000 N.C. homes will be chronically inundated, meaning they're flooded about every other week, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The nonprofit advocacy group released a report showing where and when sea-level rise is likely to impact residents' daily lives. Climate Analyst Erika Spanger-Siegfried said entire communities will be affected.