When we let politicians draw their own districts, voters lose.
We need a citizens commission to draw our districts: voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around.
See how Gerrymandering Works--Great 2-minute video
Update on status of North Carolina redistricting reform
Nov. 11, 2019
New House and Senate Select Redistricting Committees are redrawing the Congressional map. The committees have agreed on a process and criteria. House/Senate will draw separately; Senate GOP map starting from "judges map," House GOP, all Dem maps starting from scratch. Criteria/process will permit avoidance of doublebunking, bar use of racial, partisan objective, or electoral data, adhere to Census blocks, and may allow for hearings outside Raleigh. A public comments page is available here. Livestream available here when committee is in session; find previous days' recordings under documents.
What's next? Map-drawing in the committee is expected to wrap up Nov. 12, with committee votes possibly later that day or Nov. 13, followed by votes in full House and Senate Both houses must agree on both maps; Governor cannot veto. The court's jurisdiction over the new maps remains somewhat unclear, because the legislature's redrawing is not court-ordered.
The House Redistricting Committee is expected to take up at least 3 of the redistricting bills before it, but start date for active consideration remains unclear. Bills likely to be discussed include H69 (Reives-McGrady), H140 (McGrady-Reives), and H648 (Warren-Hanig), the bills with the broadest bipartisan support among the 5 House redistricting reform bills.
Bill basics: Who draws the maps: H69--commission; H140--legislative services office (staff); H648--special master with support from commission
Who approves the maps: All three bills--legislature, which can amend the map after voting down commission/LSO map (H69 & H140) or consider other maps (H648)
Other features: All three bills provide important improvements to the process, transparency, and criteria, H140 also includes a constitutional amendment on these points. H140 was developed by NC4RR, an independent group led by Judge Tom Ross and Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson).
What's next? Chairman Lewis has repeated his desire to move something forward when the legislature convenes later in November with aim of adopting a bill in time for the March primary (relevant for constitutional amendments only). Here's the committee website. No sign of action in the Senate, though. Read the bills here: H69 H140 H648
Harper v. Lewis: 14 individual plaintiffs, with support from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s foundation, challenged NC's Congressional districts in Wake Superior Court, as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Following the granting of a preliminary injunction barring future use of the map, the legislature has begun redrawing the Congressional map . Adoption of a new map could render this case moot (dead), but meanwhile the NCGA has asked the federal court to step in. Candidate filing, set to run Dec.2-20, may or may not be delayed (delay could move the primary).
What's the latest? The Wake Superior Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Read the ruling here. Judges have scheduled a hearing Dec. 2 on summary judgment (decision without a full trial). Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment here; (defendents' answer pending).
What’s the next step? The legislature responded to the court's ruling barring reuse of the current map. A joint (House-Senate select committee has been named and map redrawing is underway. House/Senate Rs & Ds each drawing separate maps (indeed, multiple maps each).
For more information: Find all the documents on the Brennan website or follow news reports in the Washington Post and Raleigh News & Observer (may be paywalled). The Wake Superior Court’s Cases of Public Interest page now has the Harper v Lewis materials posted (Common Cause v Lewis below that).
Common Cause v. Lewis: This is the case challenging the state legislative districts in state court. The court previously ruled that several county groupings in the NC House and Senate maps should be redrawn. The legislature complied with this order by submitting its maps on time.
What's the latest? Common Cause appealed 8 districts to the NC Supreme Court after the superior court approved the legislature's redrawing and the process used. They allege that these districts are still impermissible gerrymanders. Overall, experts indicate the House map is more or less 1/2 as gerrymandered as it was and the Senate maps about 1/3 as gerrymandered.
What’s the next step? The NC Supreme Court must decide whether to accept the case. A memo on Voting Rights Act compliance is also still pending. Candidate filing is still scheduled for December 2019, but the Supreme Court could move it.
Map-drawing to wrap up tomorrow (Tues.) at noon. In-person public comments 10-12 Wednesday, comm. votes likely Wed. pm., then House/Senate floor votes. Legislature convenes Wed. at noon.
UPDATE also covers:
What's happening with the court cases on NC's Congressional and legislative districts?