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New York Times: Justices Display Divisions in New Cases on Voting Maps Warped by Politics

Like Justice Kavanaugh, Justice Gorsuch cited recent ballot initiatives creating nonpartisan redistricting commissions as a reason for the Supreme Court to hold its fire. A lawyer for one set of challengers in the North Carolina case, Emmet J. Bondurant II, said such initiatives were not a complete answer. “The vast majority of states east of the Mississippi, including specifically North Carolina,” he said, “do not have citizen initiatives.”

USA Today: Gerrymandering: Voting rights and redistricting for elections collide at Supreme Court

“Our hope is that there is a concern about basic fairness," says Dan Vicuña, national redistricting manager at Common Cause, which is challenging the North Carolina map. "Either side of the political aisle can be the victim of this.”

NPR: 55 Years Later, Lawyer Will Again Argue Over Redistricting Before Supreme Court

55 years later, Common Cause Lawyer Emmet Bondurant is set to argue before the Supreme Court again. This time he's asking the court to block partisan redistricting in North Carolina. Although the state is closely politically divided, the legislature ensured that Republicans would dominate the congressional delegation. Bondurant has no plans to retire, or quit trying to improve democracy in the country through the courts. "I'd rather spend my time doing that than playing golf, in part because I play golf so badly that the opportunity not to play is itself a positive," Bondurant said. "But, this is really important stuff, and it's very fundamental."

Associated Press: GOP redistricting edge moderated Democrats’ 2018 gains

“Gerrymandering as a whole cheats voters out of our representation,” said Love Caesar, a student at North Carolina A&T State University who works with Common Cause, an advocacy group that is a lead plaintiff in the case. ... “It’s hard to explain to students who are already skeptical about the voting process ... that the state intentionally diluted their power in voting by putting this line back here in between our campus,” said North Carolina A&T student Kylah Guion, who also works with Common Cause.

Money & Influence 02.6.2019

New York Daily News: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rails against 'broken' political finance laws, takes aim at Trump and 'bad guys'

“Now I’m elected, now I’m in, I got the power to draft, lobby and shape the laws that govern the United States of America. Fabulous,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Now, is there any hard limit that I have in terms of what legislation I’m allowed to touch…based on the special interests funds that I accepted?” “There’s no limit,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of the nonpartisan watchdog group Common Cause. Ocasio-Cortzed continued, “I can be totally funded by oil and gas, totally funded by big pharma and come in and write pharma laws?” “That’s right,” Hobert Flynn said. Wrapping up, Ocasio-Cortez then added, “We have a system that is fundamentally broken.”

The Atlantic: Is This the Year for a Redistricting Revolution?

In 2017, the Supreme Court heard a case that began in Wisconsin that some thought might lead to the declaration of gerrymandering as unconstitutional. It didn’t. Now there’s fear among redistricting-reform advocates that the new makeup of the Court will do pretty much the opposite and take a case that would declare the independent commissions unconstitutional. said Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director of Common Cause, said that if that happened, it would lead to a revolution. “I’m calling us to arms,” she joked. Others believe that it could have a boomerang effect, forcing Congress to address the issue nationally—the same thought process that had people believing that Congress would update the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court struck down a key section of it in 2013.

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