Bryan Warner Director of Communications, Common Cause North Carolina Ph: 919-836-0027 BWarner@commoncause.org
on May 22, 2017
RALEIGH – The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that North Carolina lawmakers unconstitutionally gerrymandered two of the state's congressional districts along racial lines. The decision affirms a lower court ruling in 2016 that ordered the districts to be redrawn.
In response to that ruling, state lawmaker redrew North Carolina's congressional maps last year, that time claiming they would not consider race at all. Instead, legislative leaders openly boasted they would gerrymander along partisan lines to give Republicans maximum advantage. Their rationale was that while various court rulings have made it clear that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional, the US Supreme Court has not yet made a decisive ruling on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.
Common Cause is among the plaintiffs challenging the NC legislature's partisan gerrymandering scheme in the case of Common Cause v. Rucho. That potentially landmark trial is set to begin on June 26 in Greensboro.
The following is a statement from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC:
"We applaud the Supreme Court for clearly affirming that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional. Sadly, state lawmakers responded to rulings against their unconstitutional racial gerrymandering by then gerrymandering along partisan lines. The result has been rigged elections that continue to deny North Carolina voters of their constitutional right to have a voice in choosing their representatives. That's why challenging partisan gerrymandering is so important now. We are hopeful that the court will find that like racial gerrymandering, partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional."
Common Cause NC is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy. Online: CommonCauseNC.org
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Issues: Voting and Elections