In 2016, Democrat Mike Morgan won a hotly contested seat on North Carolina’s state Supreme Court, flipping the court to a 4–3 liberal majority. Ever since, Republicans in the state have engaged in a great deal of chicanery to prevent Democrats from winning another seat in 2018. For a while, they appeared destined to succeed. But a last-minute twist may thwart their carefully laid plans, allowing yet another progressive Democrat to flip a Republican-held seat in the November election.
The North Carolina Supreme Court plays a major role in the state’s politics due largely to the sharp split between the governor and legislature. Republicans hold a super-majority in the North Carolina General Assembly thanks to a racial gerrymandering that has been ruled illegal, while Democrat Roy Cooper serves as governor. Since Cooper won in 2016, Republicans have passed a series of laws stripping his office of power and entrenching GOP rule. (Cooper has attempted to block these extreme measures, but the legislature can easily override his veto.) The state Supreme Court, however, has managed to strike down Republicans’ more egregious power-grabs by consistent 4–3 votes, ruling that they violate the state constitution. (Read more)
Photo taken by Curmilus Dancy II The DCN in Wilson NC. Click on photo for more photos and video.
The Watch Dog response: Thank you Anita Earls and all of the folk who have made this happen.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A federal three-judge panel has appointed a “special master” to “assist the Court in evaluating” the districts that Plaintiffs explained either failed to cure the racial gerrymandering the court unanimously found in 2016 or violate the state constitution. The Special Master will also help in “developing an appropriate plan remedying any problem with” districts in the plan adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in August 2017 that the court may find inappropriate as a remedy. The remedial redistricting process took place after the same three-judge panel found 28 districts to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in 2016.
The order announces the court’s intention to appoint Professor Nathaniel Persily, a professor at the Stanford School of Law, as the special master to review the redistricting proposal. The full court order can be read at http://bit.ly/SpecialMaster.
Anita Earls, Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and lead attorney for plaintiffs in the case, issued the following statement after receiving the court’s order: (Southern Coalition For Social Justice)