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Vox: The cracks in the GOP’s gerrymandering firewall

Republicans do not plan to appeal the decision in the case, Common Cause v. Lewis, so the 2020 election will likely be the first in nearly a decade where Democrats have a fighting chance to take control of the state legislature in North Carolina.Common Cause is just the latest in a series of court decisions and ballot initiatives that either undercut Republican gerrymanders or that seek to prevent either party from drawing similarly gerrymandered maps in the future. Court decisions in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have weakened Republican gerrymanders, while ballot initiatives in Michigan and Ohio seek to prevent either party from gerrymandering those states ever again.

Associated Press: Republicans begin complying with NC redistricting order

“If the justices in Washington, D.C., won’t protect people’s constitutional rights — won’t ensure that all voters have a fair opportunity to participate in our democracy — then the courts of North Carolina will fix the problem themselves,” said Stanton Jones, a chief lawyer in the lawsuit filed by Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and Democratic voters.

ABC News: Groups answer Supreme Court with million-dollar push to counter gerrymandering

Just this week, a unanimous three-judge panel in North Carolina struck down that state’s legislative district maps saying they were unfairly drawn to benefit Republicans -- in violation of the state constitution.The “decision offers a framework for other states to evaluate their own redistricting,” said Stanton Jones, a constitutional lawyer at the firm Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. representing Common Cause. “There are a number of other state constitutions around the country with free elections clauses similar or identical to the one in North Carolina.”A challenge to Pennsylvania’s congressional map brought by the League of Women Voters reached a similar conclusion last year, with that state’s Supreme Court finding the gerrymandered districts violated state law.The cases show that “state constitutions can be invoked to protect the people of that state,” said Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at Common Cause.

NBC News: Democrats eye move against GOP congressional gerrymandering in North Carolina

Dan Vicuña Common Cause's national redistricting manager said the organization is already looking toward 2021, identifying where partisan gerrymandering may take place and where state constitutions might give them an opening to challenge it."It’s going to be an exciting time for voter empowerment after the next lines are drawn. We have a good handle on where there’s going to be single-party control, where the state constitution has been interpreted in a pro-voter matter, where we can ask the court to change precedent where that’s the case."

New York Times: The Battle Over the Files of a Gerrymandering Mastermind

“We’ve already seen that these files have been instrumental in exposing lies around the effort to add a citizenship question to the census and around subverting a court’s order to redraw gerrymandered lines,” Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director for the group, said in an interview. “The Hofeller files are important because they’re the only thing that will allow the American people to know the truth behind the efforts to rig redistricting and elections,” she added. “They have to be made public.”

Voting & Elections 08.27.2019

HuffPost: Indiana Can’t Kick Voters Off Rolls Without Warning, Appeals Court Says

“We are extremely pleased with this decision since it means that Indiana counties will have to follow federal law when maintaining their lists of registered voters and no Hoosier will be removed from the list without proper notice and a waiting period,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director of Indiana Common Cause. “Those safeguards are in the law for a reason and it is reassuring to know that Hoosier voters will be protected from unlawful purges in the future.”

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