North Carolina Republicans have enacted a startlingly aggressive partisan gerrymander, giving themselves an inroad to obtaining an overwhelming majority of the state’s Congressional seats in a state where Trump barely won in 2020. What that means is that new district lines for Congress (and the state’s two state legislative chambers) have now been passed by both of those legislative chambers, and the lines are manipulated in such a way to leave Republicans in the majority in an outsized portion of the state’s districts, among other issues. On Thursday, voting rights lawyer Marc Elias pledged the filing of a legal challenge against the lines.
As he put it, referring to the new maps:
‘I can promise you that these will be challenged in court soon. My team I and I beat them in 2017 in the US Supreme Court when the GOP tried to racially gerrymander and then again in state court when they tried to partisan gerrymander.’
I can promise you that these will be challenged in court soon.
My team I and I beat them in 2017 in the US Supreme Court when the GOP tried to racially gerrymander and then again in state court when they tried to partisan gerrymander. https://t.co/asZWUO7Hrr
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 4, 2021
The new Congressional map contains 14 districts for North Carolina, since the state added a district following the last census due to population growth. Republicans appear to be on track to control 10 of those seats, which works out to about 71 percent of the state’s U.S. House spots — despite the fact that Trump won less than 50 percent of the vote there in 2020.
In other words, there’s what appears to be a substantial problem here, which is similar to issues that have appeared in GOP-backed Congressional district maps elsewhere. In Texas, which added two new Congressional seats because of increases in its population, white voters ended up in the majority in both of the new seats — despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the state’s preceding population growth was from non-white residents. Republicans also lowered by one the number of Texas Congressional districts where Hispanic voters are in the majority. These maps fail to accurately reflect the populations at hand. Ultimately, manipulations of district lines are among a slew of formidable tactics used for voter suppression. Read more on the issue here.