News

Senate picks base NCGA map but House map drawers make scant progress

North Carolina’s voter map drama turned more theatrical, as state senators literally rolled out a lottery machine to randomly select their starter map. It was one of several bizarre events during the second day of House and Senate redistricting committee meetings Tuesday, Sept. 10. Members disrupted proceedings with chaotic arguments and motions. Staffers sorted map...

Kari Travis
News

On tight timetable, lawmakers make little progress in first day of redistricting meetings

North Carolina lawmakers have just nine days to draw new voter district maps. They’re off to a rough start.  A three-judge panel on Sept. 3 told Republican lawmakers to throw out their state legislative maps — which were subject to “extreme partisan gerrymandering”— and start over. House and Senate majority leaders aren’t happy with the...

Kari Travis
News

Redistricting decision won’t prevent future gerrymandering disputes, experts say

The Republican-led N.C. General Assembly must draw new state House and Senate district maps, a court has ruled.  But the ruling — delivered in Common Cause v. Lewis — won’t prevent excessive future gerrymandering, experts say.  Tuesday, Sept. 3, a three-judge Superior Court panel scrapped North Carolina’s election maps. The voting districts were cases of...

Kari Travis
News

Unanimous three-judge panel throws out N.C. House, Senate districts

A three-judge N.C. Superior Court panel has tossed out North Carolina’s election maps for state House and Senate districts. The court has ordered state lawmakers to draw new maps in two weeks. The state Senate’s top leader responded by saying legislators “intend to respect the court’s decision and finally put this divisive battle behind us.”...

CJ Staff

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News

Constitutional experts agree: Common Cause v. Lewis will wind up in state Supreme Court

It may be weeks ⁠— perhaps months ⁠— before a three-judge panel issues a ruling on whether lawmakers drew N.C. voting districts legally, or whether the legislative districts are partisan gerrymanders.  The three-judge panel handling Common Cause v. Lewis at the trial level could obviously rule either way: for the defendants — who represent Republicans...

Brooke Conrad
Opinion

Taking partisanship out of the state redistricting battle 

Whatever the three-judge Superior Court panel decides about  Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to the constitutionality of North Carolina’s legislative districts, is relevant only if the plaintiffs win. That’s because we would get new legislative maps for 2020 elections — drawn to the liking of the state Democratic Party and left-leaning groups who sued the...

CJ Editors
News

Redistricting trial ends with battles over witness credibility

North Carolina’s redistricting trial Common Cause v. Lewis concluded Friday with heightened tensions, a day after the court threw out part of the testimony of one of the General Assembly’s key witnesses. Discrediting the other side’s witnesses became a main theme for plaintiffs and defendants as the two-week trial wound down. Plaintiffs asked the court...

Brooke Conrad
News

In redistricting trial, defense emphasizes voters’ discretion

As a three-judge panel heard a second week of testimony in Common Cause v. Lewis, defense attorneys and witnesses tried to cast doubt on the ability of statistical analysis to predict how North Carolinians would vote in legislative elections. Plaintiffs have produced several expert witnesses who illustrated how their computer-simulated district maps would produce more...

Brooke Conrad
News

Hofeller maps, racial data consume third day of redistricting trial

After slogging through a mass of statistical data and redistricting jargon, day three of Common Cause v. Lewis brought the court back to the fundamental questions: the constitutionality of Republicans’ gerrymandered maps and the legal implications of the controversial Hofeller files.  Democratic legislative candidates have had to compete under Republican-gerrymandered maps since the 2012 elections....

Brooke Conrad
News

First day of redistricting trial raises questions about court’s role in the matter

If you can’t get a law, then go to court.  Such was the theme of opening testimony for Common Cause v. Lewis, the partisan redistricting lawsuit launched last year by Common Cause NC, the N.C. Democratic Party, and a handful of individual plaintiffs. Republicans violated the state constitution by carving out voting districts to their...

Kari Travis