The nation's most prominent partisan gerrymandering fight is over. A newly drawn congressional district map for North Carolina will be used in the next election, a panel of three state judges has ruled.
The decision, announced late Monday, brings closure to the most pressing dispute in the country over the limits that politicians may go to in order to pick their own voters, rather than the other way around.
The end result is North Carolina is highly likely to elect five Democrats to Congress in 2020, two more than in most of this decade. Aggressive mapmaking by the Republicans who dominate the General Assembly had resulted in just three of 13 House seats going to Democrats even though their slate of candidates was securing about half the statewide congressional vote — and a slim but clear majority last year.
People in the democracy reform movement, both old and new, must sometimes feel like they are trying to empty the ocean with a slotted spoon.
But while change may sometimes happen slowly, there are plenty of reasons for democracy reformers to be thankful this year. So enjoy that extra turkey leg or slice of pumpkin pie, with the knowledge that progress is being made across the country.
Here are five reasons reformers are giving thanks this holiday season. What did we forget? Email us at email@example.com.
Michigan may continue planning for its new voter-mandated independent redistricting commission, a federal judge has ruled, because Republicans are not likely to win their lawsuit alleging the panel's membership requirements are unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Janet Neff on Monday rejected the GOP's bid to stop implementation of a state constitutional amendment approved last fall.
In one of the biggest victories ever for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, 61 percent of voters decided to take the drawing of the next decade's legislative and congressional lines away from the Legislature and give it to a new panel — where a plurality must be without political connections or activities on their resume.
The official start of congressional campaigns in North Carolina has been postponed indefinitely by court order, a sign the most important partisan gerrymandering battle in the country is not close to ending.
Instead of candidates filing their paperwork for the primaries starting Dec. 2, the big political news that day will be another round of arguments before the three judges in Charlotte supervising the latest redistricting in the state.
In announcing that new timetable Wednesday, the judges made clear they were not ready to accept the first draft of a new map produced last week by the Republicans who control the General Assembly.