The new Supreme Court of North Carolina has changed hands from Democratic to Republican and they are wasting no time doing away with opinions from the previous court.
The biggie is the one where a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court. Gerrymandering is nothing new. It has been used ever since we became a nation after the Revolutionary War.
The court ruled that gerrymandering is legal and in 2024 North Carolina will return to the original map drawn out by the legislature.
This is a big deal because the map the court approved by the former court allowed the Democrats to pick up four seats in the House. Republicans now expect to regain those seats in 2024 using the original map. The court also ordered that ID must be presented in order to vote. That is another biggie that the former court banned. All of the new decisions were five to two. The two Democrats left on the court voted no on every bill.
Chief Justice Paul Newby (R) explained in the court opinion:
Our constitution expressly assigns the redistricting authority to the General Assembly subject to explicit limitations in the text. Those limitations do not address partisan gerrymandering. It is not within the authority of this Court to amend the constitution to create such limitations on a responsibility that is textually assigned to another branch. Furthermore, were this Court to create such a limitation, there is no judicially discoverable or manageable standard for adjudicating such claims.
The new decision means that Republicans, who hold a super-majorities in both the state House and state Senate, can redraw congressional districts to benefit Republicans. Currently, North Carolina is represented by seven Republicans and seven Democrats in the U.S. House.
But if Republicans pass the map that was struck down last year, Republicans will be able to win as many as 11 seats — a net of four seats. That means the Republican majority in the U.S. House will grow.
Importantly, the court also reversed a 2018 decision that struck down a voter ID law on grounds that it was racially discriminatory.
The ruling on redistricting has significant implications for Moore v. Harper, a U.S. Supreme Court case for which justices heard oral arguments in December.
The case, which was brought by North Carolina Republicans, seeks to determine whether state courts can nullify election regulations passed by state legislators. The case was expected to issue a ruling on the so-called “independent state legislature” theory, which argues that the U.S. Constitution does not grant state courts jurisdiction to review election laws.
But now the Supreme Court may not issue a ruling, instead dismissing the case as improvidently granted. If the court does decide to issue a ruling, the earliest it would come is next month.
This reverses the rulings of the former court and will make it harder for the Democrats to manufacture votes,. It will also make it nearly impossible for people to walk in and register to vote on the same day without having to identify themselves. This is huge.