A People’s Rally at the NC Capitol brings hundreds to Raleigh in defense of democracy
RALEIGH, NC – On a frigid March morning, North Carolinians from throughout the state came to the Capitol in Raleigh on Tuesday to speak up for democracy.
The People’s Rally was held across the street from the North Carolina Supreme Court at the same time that a landmark victory against gerrymandering was in jeopardy.
A year ago, the NC Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in Harper v. Hall that partisan gerrymandering – the manipulation of our state’s voting maps – violates the state Constitution and undermines the freedoms of North Carolinians. That decision resulted in new voting districts for the 2022 election and established a clear precedent that gerrymandering is illegal in North Carolina.
Now, however, there’s a new Republican majority on the state Supreme Court, which radically broke from legal norms by granting a request from Republican legislators to rehear the case. The same Republican legislators who had illegally gerrymandered the state’s voting districts and lost the case just a year before. These politicians are seeking to overturn our victory and throw out settled law. They want to take power away from we the People and rig our voting maps so they can control the outcome of elections.
“What new evidence or finding of the facts is there to warrant today’s re-do of this decision? The answer is none,” Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, told the hundreds in attendance at the rally. “What is happening today in the building behind us is completely unnecessary and frankly outrageous.”
Indeed, in the year since the case was decided, the facts and evidence remain the same – politicians created extreme gerrymanders that infringed on the rights of North Carolinians. The state’s Constitution also remains the same. All that has changed is the partisan majority on the court.
While our legal team made a powerful defense of democracy in the courtroom, North Carolinians rallied outside, sharing their stories and showing an unbending resolve to protect our freedom to vote.
While we await a ruling from the court, we and our partners are not waiting to act. The rally culminated in a march from the Capitol to the Legislative Building. There, hundreds-strong, North Carolinians delivered invitations for House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger to attend an upcoming People’s Town Hall on March 28 in Raleigh.
As the rally at the Capitol showed, North Carolinians are ready to stand together and refuse to be silenced by extremist politicians trying to restrict our votes.