North Carolina House and Senate redistricting plans.
(11.07.12) New Election Maps Help GOP Build Legislative Majorities
RALEIGH — Newly drawn election maps helped North Carolina Republicans build their majorities in both the state House and Senate Tuesday, despite the fact that their winning margins in the statewide popular vote dropped from 2010 to 2012. The new maps made the clearest impact in the House, where the GOP won 64 percent of House seats with 51 percent of the statewide popular vote.
(5.30.12) Redistricting Reform Proposal Running Aground
RALEIGH — A number of groups have sued the state over the new congressional and legislative maps approved by the General Assembly last year. However, the U.S. Justice Department has approved the maps and they are in effect for the 2012 elections.
(3.05.12) A ‘Gerrymander’ or ‘Dummymander’?
RALEIGH — Several political analysts note that the impact of a gerrymandered redistricting plan diminishes over time as political and demographic factors shift. That presents opportunities for the political party not in power — in this case, the Democrats — to make inroads.
(3.01.12) Races Take Shape as 2012 Primary Season Officially Gets Underway
RALEIGH — For 32 candidates vying to win a seat in the state legislature, the election ended at noon Wednesday — and they all won. That’s the combined number of House and Senate candidates who weren’t challenged to a primary and who won’t have opposition in the general election.
(1.30.12) Redistricting Weakens Republicans in Two N.C. Congressional Districts
RALEIGH — Partisan map-drawers must weaken their party’s power in certain districts to strengthen their power in others. GOP lawmakers diluted Democratic strength in key congressional districts at the expense of the incumbents in the 3rd and 6th districts.
(1.25.12) Texas Redistricting Case Could Bolster N.C. Republicans
RALEIGH — Similar to the lawsuit in North Carolina, the Texas suit claimed that Republicans in the legislature illegally diluted the voting power of black and Latino residents. Legal experts say that the case’s impact could reach to the Tar Heel State.
(1.17.12) Delayed Election Schedule Could Help Vulnerable Democrats in 2012
RALEIGH — Under the present schedule, North Carolina’s primary is May 8, and a runoff election, if needed, is June 26. But a motion filed by Democrats and civil rights groups calls for the primary and runoff to be deferred two months. The first primary would be held July 10, and a runoff Aug. 28.
(11.22.11) N.C. Blue Dogs Prep For ’12 With Vote on Balanced Budget Amendment
RALEIGH — Political experts say the vote should ingratiate North Carolina's moderate Democratic representatives with more conservative voters. Their districts have been reconfigured by General Assembly Republicans to hold more GOP voters.
(8.04.11) CJ Editorial: Back to the Drawing Board
The new legislative and congressional district maps drawn by Republicans provide the best argument for an independent map-drawing process since the Democrats concocted a set of equally egregious maps a decade ago.
(7.28.11) Both Parties Hiding Behind Voting Rights Act
The sooner North Carolina is free of harmful, artificial VRA districts, the better the situation for black voters, black candidates, and every North Carolinian.
(7.22.11) Democrats Can Blame One of Their Own for Redrawn Maps
If the latest proposed map for North Carolina congressional elections makes it harder for Democrats to win, they can thank Rep. G.K. Butterfield.
(7.14.11) It’s a Republican Gerrymander
If the Democratic gerrymanders of 1991 and 2001 bothered you, a Republican gerrymander in 2011 should bother you, too.
(4.05.11) Tempers Flare As Redistricting Process Gets Underway in NCGA
RALEIGH — Next to the budget, redistricting could prove to be lawmakers’ most partisan task this year — and that’s saying a lot given the controversial lineup of bills pushed by the GOP during the first eight weeks of the legislative session.
(12.21.10) A Plan for Redistricting Reform
Think of redistricting reform as an insurance policy. It may cost you a bit up front, but it can protect you against catastrophic loss in the future.
(6.29.10) Redistricting Could Be Biggest Consequence of Midterm Elections
RALEIGH — Redistricting can go far in making or breaking a party’s political fortunes. If Tar Heel Republicans control the process this time around, it could be their ticket out of an electoral slump that dates back to Reconstruction.
(8.28.07) Court Orders New Map — Eventually
If Pender voters are being denied their constitutional rights, why does the Court consider it permissible to allow the 2008 election to proceed with the current map?
(10.25.06) Time to Commission a New Way
There is no perfect way to draw political boundaries. What we can say for sure is that the current system is deeply flawed.
(7.06.06) Act Now, But Act Wisely
Yes, the United States Congress should renew the federal Voting Rights Act. But no, it should not be renewed without some significant reforms.
(2.23.06) A Pathetic Electoral Excuse
With Bush’s approval ratings stuck in the low 40s and other factors in place, 2006 should be a year of Democratic resurgence. But most pundits don’t yet expect this to happen because of the rules of the game.
(9.02.04) Out of 170, Watch 14 Closely
Looking at the most competitive legislative races in 2004, it could be said that control of the most powerful political institution in North Carolina depends on the outcome of just 14 key contests.
(4.22.04) The Never-Ending, Finished Case
The NC Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling Thursday that transferred a long-running redistricting case to a new Wake County judicial panel. On second thought, no it didn't.
(3.17.04) A Constitutional Crossroads
The NC Supreme Court is about to rule on whether it is a separate and equal branch of state government — or subservient to the legislature. The future of constitutional government is at stake.
(2.24.04) Still More Separation Anxiety
The Stephenson redistricting plaintiffs have filed their brief with the NC Supreme Court -- and the stakes, not just electoral but constitutional, couldn't be higher.
(2.13.04) Primary Delay Caused by Legislative Leaders
North Carolina's 2004 primaries have been delayed from May until July. Some are blaming redistricting litigants, but the real story is legislative brinksmanship.
(2.09.04) True Primary Colors
As expected, North Carolina's May primaries have been officially delayed until July. Legislative leaders are blaming redistricting litigation. Wrong.
(1.28.04) Did Republicans Score a Redistricting Win?
Critics of Republican redistricting plaintiffs say they should just accept the latest General Assembly districts since they will help the GOP. The truth is more complex.
(1.25.04) Meanwhile, Back to NC Politics
We'll know soon how the pivotal New Hampshire primary will turnout. Meanwhile, there's a big political story in NC.
(1.23.04) Iowa Offers Redistricting Lessons
RALEIGH — If any redistricting procedure could be viewed as exemplary, it would be Iowa’s . After a court loss in the 1970s, the Iowa legislature turned redistricting responsibilities over to staff. It is required to disregard political affiliations and incumbency when designing new districts. The bureau must draw districts with the following considerations, in order of highest priority to lowest: population equality, contiguousness, respect of county and city unity, and compactness Once the districts are drawn, the legislature must vote up or down on the plan.
(1.19.04) Redistricting Panel Not Silver Bullet
RALEIGH — Two years ago, Rep. Russell Capps complained that his newly redrawn, Democrat-leaning district resembled the main course at a holiday dinner — sort of. “If you hold it upside-down,” Capps said at the time, “it looks like a turkey.” Trying to avoid the tussle for power, some NC legislators have proposed a nonpartisan commission to handle redistricting duties. They argue that such panels minimize political considerations such as incumbency, and instead endeavor to follow constitutional guidelines such as compactness and communities of interest. But a review of the practice in other states shows that commissions aren't silver bullets.
(12.29.03) A Wide-Ranging Court Ruling
A Franklin County judge has rendered a decision likely to impact legislative, gubernatorial, and even presidential politics in 2004. And the judicial process just started.
(12.05.03) The Use and Abuse of Partisanship
The Founders of the American republic both criticized partisanship and practiced it. Here's a guide to the appropriate uses, and egregious abuses, of factionalism.
(11.30.03) Odds Are Against New Maps
The new House and Senate districts enacted last week face long odds in the coming legal challenges. Here are some of the reasons why this process probably isn't over.
(11.28.03) Redistricting Session, In a Few Words
The special redistricting session held just before Thanksgiving gave lawmakers another chance to follow the law in mapping their political futures. They didn't.
(11.25.03) More Thoughts on the Redistricting Session
Further analysis of the new House and Senate maps reveals some interesting twists and scenarios for Democratic or Republican control in Raleigh -- after some litigation.
(11.24.03) A First Look at the New Maps
The NC General Assembly met Monday for a quickie session to draw legislative districts yet again. Issues for litigation immediately presented themselves — of course.
(11.20.03) Re-Redistricting - Round & Round We Go
A public hearing on legislative redistricting in Raleigh signals the beginning, and only the beginning, of what may be a lengthy process.
(9.26.03) How to Win & Lose Simultaneously
Republican plaintiffs in North Carolina's ongoing redistricting conflict lost a battle in court Thursday -- and celebrated victory.
(9.12.03) UNC Dean Should Do Homework on Redistricting
My alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill, has good reason to be embarrassed. No, I’m not referring to the latest flap over freshman readings or even the basketball team. I’m reacting to public statements by the dean of UNC’s law school on North Carolina’s ongoing redistricting imbroglio.
(9.10.03) Behind the Latest Redistricting Gambit
There’s been another twist in North Carolina’s long-running fight over legislative redistricting. But don’t believe everything you read: the latest legal maneuver is designed to accomplished a just and timely result, not a judicial takeover.
(7.16.03) What Comes Next on Redistricting
The North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled, again, against the gross gerrymandering of legislative districts. The next thing to expect is another round of gross gerrymandering.
(7.11.02) Redistricting Case Nearing End
Let's get something straight: last year's redistricting plans and Judge Jenkins' don't compare; the 2001 plans represented a guaranteed Democrat majority, while Judge Jenkins' guarantee down-to-the-wire competition.
(6.27.02) Is the Redistricting Case Over?
A three-judge panel in Washington rejected an attempt to stop North Carolina's legislative elections under new maps drawn by Judge Knox Jenkins. Is this long, drawn-out fight really over? Not quite yet, but almost.
(5.05.02) The Redistricting Homestretch
The state supreme court has established three clear rules to guide restricting: respecting county lines, equalizing population, and ensuring compact districts. Will the legislature comply?
(4.30.02) An Unholy Redistricting Mess
Sorting out the implications of the N.C. Supreme Court's complex ruling on redistricting will take some time, but one clear loser was the cause of judicial restraint.
(3.10.02) Bush v. Gore v. Redistricting
Some are attempting to Bork the N.C. Supreme Court and impugn the Justices' integrity — don't let it happen!
(11.30.01) North Carolina Follows Lead on Redistricting
On Nov. 28 the North Carolina Senate abandoned an attempt to so contort the state’s new congressional map to flip a 7-5 Republican majority to a 8-5 or 7-6 Democratic one. With an overwhelming majority in the state senate, Democrats nevertheless had to capitulate to the closely divided House, which had already drawn a plan essentially protecting all incumbents and drawing the state’s new 13th district to lean Democratic.
(11.16.01) Redistricting Process is Harshly Honest
For all those who demand honesty from their politicians, the North Carolina General Assembly has just served up a cautionary tale. When redrawing legislative and congressional districts over the past few weeks, members on all sides were blunt and unsparing.