Republican lawmakers have the ability to draw new legislative maps quickly; they’re just flat out refusing to. This is why Gov. Cooper has called them out and reminding them that the Supreme Court of the United States, among other courts, have said the current legislative districts are unconstitutional and they’re refusing to fix the problems. Gov. Cooper wants the people to make the decision about who represents them in Raleigh, but the NCGOP is flat out refusing so Gov. Cooper continues to call them out.
Gov. Roy Cooper is taking it to the General Assembly when it comes to insisting on an early election using new legislative district maps that will pass muster with courts as constitutionally proper.
That’s more than can be said for current maps that have been rejected by the courts, including to some degree by the U.S. Supreme Court, which saw unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in the maps. But Republican legislative leaders, who made a partisan hash of drawing district lines after the 2010 census – using racial gerrymanders that packed African-American voters into a few districts and thus strengthened Republican control in others – want to delay things as long as they can. That’s outrageous. If more elections are held with districts that are unconstitutional, that would be an affront to democracy itself.
The battle over districts has dragged on for too long as Republican legislative leaders don’t want to admit they drew maps with all the skill of a kindergarten class finger painting, though with less common sense and with hard partisan objectives.
The governor is in effect taking his case to the people and saying to the GOP majority on Jones Street: OK, the courts say you’re wrong. Do you simply intend to ignore the separation of powers and to thumb your nose at the courts?
Republican lawmakers have it in their power to draw new districts and to do it quickly, though perhaps not with the partisan advantage they created for themselves with the districts rejected by the courts. That said, some partisanship is expected in redistricting, so they likely could easily retain an advantage even with districts that were more fair, and sensible.
Alas, that’s not good enough. Apparently, Republicans aren’t really all that confident about their performance in the eyes of the public since the GOP took control of the legislature in 2011. Because, after all, they seem unable to draw districts that would produce a fair fight; they want the fix to be in.