CASH IN THE APPLE for 6-15-17
By Cash Michaels
THE REDISTRICTING FARCE – So when will it end? I mean how many more Mondays do we have to go through with the US Supreme Court nailing our Republican-led NC legislature to the legal wall for some conniving law or plan they thought they could go get away with?
Last week, you’ll recall, the US High Court ruled that North Carolina’s legislative redistricting maps were (surprise, surprise) unconstitutional because 28 voting districts drawn by the Republicans in 2011 “stacked and packed” African-American voters, a classic case of racial gerrymandering if ever there was one.
The week before that, the High Court sent a case back to the NC Supreme Court for a third time because when the GOP had the majority on it, they apparently had no problem with all of the racial gerrymandering their brethren in the state legislature thought they should get away with.
The week before that, the most high Supremes nailed North Carolina Republican lawmakers for drawing racially gerrymandered districts in the congressional First and Twelfth districts, effectively cramming all the black voters they could find in both so that they could not influence the other 11 congressional races.
And finally, the week before that, US Supreme Court didn’t even bother to review last year’s US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down North Carolina’s wretched 2013 voter ID law.
You know, the one that the Fourth Circuit ruled targeted the black vote in our state with “…almost surgical precision.
What a disgraceful record when it comes to the Republican efforts to suppress the black vote in order to gain and maintain power in our state. And with the US Supreme Court ruling repeatedly that all of this stems from the 2011 restricting maps drawn by Republicans, that means that every election held since 2011, based on those maps, should be null and void, because the voting districts were illegally drawn.
So the Republican state lawmakers pushing all of these crazy laws down our throats, like the most recent one where you don’t need a gun permit to carry a concealed weapon in most places, weren’t even legally elected.
And so when can we get new, more constitutionally drawn voting district maps in places? A federal three-judge panel ruled last year that the maps should be redrawn last March, with special elections held this November.
The Republicans appealed that ruling to the High Court and a stay until that order got top judicial review.
Well, last week, the US Supreme Court came back agreeing with that three-judge panel, but ordered that panel to reconsider the redrawing of the maps, and special elections.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper ordered state lawmakers into special session last week to begin redrawing the new maps, but (surprise, surprise), Republican leaders refused to do it, saying Cooper’s order is unconstitutional, and they’d rather wait until that three-judge panel orders them to redraw.
But do you see the trick here? That panel orders new maps and special elections, and the Republicans simply appeal that to the US Supreme Court again, eating up valuable time, and pretty much assuring that 2017 special elections can never happen.
This isn’t over by a longshot folks. The Republicans have vowed to pass new voter ID laws, and there’s no telling what they’ll come up with if they redraw the maps. They’re goal is to have death grip on political power at any cost.
No political party should have that. There should be a nonpartisan redistricting commission in place to take the politics out of voting maps. But guess who doesn’t such a creature to draw fair, unbiased voting districts for us?
Please, pay close attention to what happens next.