Democrats controlled the N.C. General Assembly after the 2000 census, so they drew redistricting maps. In the first election under the Democrat redistricting, in 2002, for State House of Representatives:
Votes received: GOP 1,073,000, Democrats 904,000.
Seats won: GOP 61, Democrats 59. Fair election.
After the 2010 census, Republicans controlled the General Assembly, so they drew redistricting maps. In the first election under the GOP redistricting, in 2012:
Vote received: GOP 1,998,000, Democrats 1,875,000.
Seats won: GOP 77, Democrats 43. Unfair election.
In 2010, Republicans had sophisticated gerrymandering programs. Apparently in 2000, Democrats had old-fashioned software.
Or maybe they had scruples.
Understand: I’m not whining because I’m not winning. I’m calling in the U.S. Supreme Court.
You see, N.C. isn’t the only victim of GOP greed. They hijacked other states where they control state government: Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Florida. In 2012 elections for U.S. Congress, in these seven states (including N.C.), Democrats got 16.4 million votes, Republicans got 16.7 million. Split 50-50, right? Nope. GOP elected 73, Democrats elected 34.
By contrast, in California, 62 percent voted Democratic, and Democrats elected exactly the expected number. They have a nonpartisan California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Gerrymandering is an old trick. Patrick Henry tried to gerrymander James Madison out of a seat in Congress in 1788. But this new Republican vandalism must be stopped.
I smile at the New York Times article: “Let’s establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions in all 50 states.” Uh-huh. Would people who cheated so hard to get majorities suddenly get nonpartisan religion? (N.C. doesn’t have referendums initiated by the people. Everything comes down from the General Assembly.)
And this from The Economist: “Citizens could try to use their vote to punish lawmakers who use their office to rig elections.” Yeah. Gerrymandering means you never have to say you’re sorry. That’s the whole idea: insulation from the rabble.
The only hope for overturned undemocratic gerrymandering is the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Vieth v. Jubelirer, the Court did not intervene in Pennsylvania’s gerrymandering, but Justice Kennedy’s opinion said they might intervene someday if a standard is set on what constitutes excessive partisanship. The stage is set.
The U.S. Constitution only tells us how to manage the right numbers in Congress. Redistricting is included in order to maintain fairness in representation. Gerrymandering violates that principle.
The Court did strike down Georgia’s County Unit System in state elections. It was the first use of “one man, one vote.”
Of course, N.C. gerrymandering would be meaningless if Republican voters realized the injustice and voted to punish the perpetrators. How likely? Well, an ESPN poll showed that in the whole U.S., only the six states of New England think the Patriots don’t cheat. [