Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have filed an amicus brief in two cases currently before the North Carolina Supreme Court urging the Court to ensure that state elections are conducted under fair maps that are free from partisan gerrymandering.
“The trial court recognized what has been obvious all along, that the legislative and congressional maps were intentionally gerrymandered,” Cooper said. “That’s wrong and unconstitutional because it strips voters of their voice and power in our democracy.”
The plaintiffs in the two cases, North Carolina League of Conservation Voters v. Hall and Harper v. Hall, allege that the congressional and state legislative districts enacted by the Republican-controlled General Assembly are unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. Following a trial held earlier this month, a three-judge panel agreed that the enacted districts “are a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting,” but the panel did not strike down the districts as unconstitutional.
“Partisan gerrymandering distorts our democracy and violates our constitution. North Carolina’s constitution guarantees that people are sovereign and our elections are free,” Stein stated. “That’s why voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will return the power to the people by clarifying that our constitution prohibits partisan gerrymandering.”
Cooper and Stein’s brief explains that, according to the North Carolina Constitution, “political power must be vested in and derived from the people” and that “our elected leaders flout that principle when they seek to perpetuate their power irrespective of the will of the voters.” The brief also urges the Court to ensure that any constitutional violations identified by the Court “are remedied swiftly and completely.”
Read the brief HERE.