|Sample Opinion Article #1|
|GOP redraw meets muster, now what?|
|Published Monday, August 19, 2013 12:00 pm|
We’re not surprised an N.C. court voted unanimously to confirm the legality of the state’s legislative map. After all, the Republican majority did everything required by the letter of the law, which in this case meant satisfying the federal Voting Rights Act. There’s another law, too – the one that applies to the political jungle.
When Republicans took over the General Assembly in 2010, they made the most of a golden opportunity to strengthen their hold on North Carolina politics, gerrymandering a guaranteed majority in the congressional delegation and both chambers of the statehouse. As long as districts came out roughly equal and black voters were cut in on a percentage of the representation, no court would likely block the new maps. The Republicans did just that, and the inevitable happened.
As with any political contest, there are winners and losers. The winners, obviously, were the GOP and rural-suburban districts where their influence is larger than their numbers. The losers are cities and Democrats, who have seen their clout cut to the point of legislative backbenchers. White Democrats also are left in the dust.
The only way these districts will change is if a court overturns them upon appeal or, more likely in 2021 when the results of the next census will be used in reapportionment. Of course, voters could move to make representation more competitive through the ballot. Only then will elections have consequences.
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