Turing the Tables on Judicial Gerrymandering

Nov 8, 2019 (Raleigh) Voter Integrity Project has learned of a “Bill Summary,” the Legislative Bill Drafting section released Thursday, Oct 24, suggesting renewed interest in the quietly stalled House Bill 140, a bipartisan measure to take redistricting authority away from the Legislative branch of state government and surrender it to the Judiciary, under the guise of a “nonpartisan” commission. If passed H140 guarantees that North Carolina will be “blue by ’22” and with a veto-proof, California-style, one-party state by 2024. 

The bill bans calculations based on, “political affiliations of registered voters, previous election results, residential addresses of incumbents or declared candidates, demographic information, other than population head counts, except as required to comply with federal or State Law,” or “any other data which could identify with reasonable certainty the voting tendencies of any group of citizens.” While that sounds nonpartisan on its face, there’s a catch, involving language or racial minority groups.

Since “no district shall be drawn for the purpose of . . . augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a language or racial minority group,” it gives any race-based or language-based group a license to litigate for an undiluted district; and since nobody has the money for such legal action, Leftist groups in California regularly sued for Democrat-leaning minority groups and ignored the Republican groups

So rather than clarifying who gets the final determination of districts, the group with the deepest pockets will win and the end result is California. Before you dismiss the above predictions as either sage-like or the rantings of a mad man, let us point us to California’s autopsy report, as researched and reported by a group called ProPublica.

How California Was Lost

Many among us grew up hearing the term, “As California goes, so goes the nation,” so it might help to see how California went from a vibrant two-party state to become a failed one-party state that people are fleeing at alarming rates.

The origins of California’s tragic decline trace back to a constitutional amendment on their ballots in 2010 that fooled a majority into the lie that “nonpartisan” men and women could do a better job at drawing electoral districts than could seasoned politicians. Once those “nonpartisans” were identified, several well-funded Leftist groups bullied the rubes into complete submission and they created a veto-proof Democrat majority.

The plan worked beyond the Left’s wildest dreams, and now their blueprint has been exported to key battleground states like NC.

Image from ProPublica article. (Click image to read the article.)

The story is detailed in an excellent ProPublica article (linked here), but we’ll keep this post shorter by highlighting only a few relevant details.

  1. Republicans played by the rules, while Democrat leaders held secret meetings to create front groups (called “community groups”) that fervently pushed the Left’s interests. The political neophytes on the “nonpartisan” redistricting commission were easily manipulated by a combination of innocence and threats.
  2. Activists appearing before the committee posed as “ordinary Californians,” but were really experienced lobbyists tied to the Democrat party.
  3. Some language communities were “more equal” than others, so a Republican-leaning Vietnamese community was split in two, to help Hispanic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez retain her seat.
  4. According to Ballotpedia, California’s Congressional delegation has 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans and their Statehouse has 80 Democrats and 40 Republicans. After creating “nonpartisan” redistricting commissions, the state is more partisan than ever before.

Whose Job Is Redistricting Anyway?

The NC Constitution gave redistricting authority to the Legislative Branch

While the Constitution gives the redistricting authority to the Legislative branch, the courts keep inventing excuses to deem the maps are illegal and out-of-state activist groups continually litigate (or “Sue Till It’s Blue“) in an effort so financially bleed state Legislatures into surrendering.

How North Carolina Can Turn the Tide

Truth is, the Republican lawmakers feel beaten down by the constant lawsuits and thanks to Chief Justice Roberts’ erratic decision, lawmakers can no longer appeal redistricting cases to the federal level.

Couple that status with the Legislature’s habit of obeying judicial fiat, our lawmakers seem to be at the mercy of the Democrat-controlled NC Supreme Court.

Lest we forget, the NC Constitution gave full redistricting authority to the Legislature and not to the courts; but the courts have found ways to nit-pick their way into complete control of the process. HB 140 will yield even more of that power to the courts, but giving any real or imagined minority group the standing to sue for their own district in state court.

And every time a “minority” district is established, the “majority” group loses voting power. That’s the nature of redistricting, so the only question should be in which Constitutional branch of government gets the final word. The Judiciary? Or the Legislative?

Clarify The Question!!!

But what if the Legislature created a ballot question that would actually clarify that singular issue and make the voters think about it . . . or even debate it? What if the ballot question did not contain the god-like term, “nonpartisan” and instead simply posed the question of who gets the final determination on matters of redistricting in North Carolina? Suppose the ballot question said something like . . .

An amendment to clarify the constitutional powers of redistricting.

[ ] Legislature [ ] Judiciary

Shall the Legislative branch of North Carolina retain final authority to revise House and Senate districts and the apportionment thereof? Or shall this authority be transferred to the Judiciary?

Before posing that question to voters, the House and Senate would have to agree on how the losing branch of government would be limited in their efforts to steal back the power.

So, rather than using a “nonpartisan” ruse as a bait-and-switch tactic to get us to California-style partisan districts, let’s put an honest question before the voters!

~ jd


[Correction: The lead paragraph was changed in this story to reflect the accurate reason HB 140 rose on VIP’s radar. The bill was NOT introduced in late October as previously noted. We apologize for the inaccuracy.]