How the US Supreme Court redistricting decision could impact North Carolina

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in favor of Arizona’s system of using a bipartisan commission for that state’s redistricting. The decision affirms the right of states to implement an independent process for drawing voting maps.

In the wake of Monday’s ruling, supporters of redistricting reform in North Carolina are calling on the state legislature to pass House Bill 92, which would take the power to draw voting maps out of the hands of lawmakers and give it to nonpartisan legislative staff.

The measure has the support of a bipartisan majority of N.C. House members, but is yet to get a vote in that chamber.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today allows North Carolina to continue our effort to take partisan politics out of the redistricting process,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. “We urge the General Assembly to pass House Bill 92 and establish a fair system for drawing our state’s voting maps.”

For decades, whichever party has controlled the N.C. General Assembly at the time of the decennial redistricting process has drawn voting maps that heavily favor their own candidates. The result has been a lack of competition in our state’s congressional and legislative elections, depriving North Carolina voters of having a real voice in choosing their representatives.

A growing number of leaders on both sides of the political aisle have called for redistricting reform, including Gov. Pat McCrory, former governors Jim Martin and Jim Hunt, former mayors Richard Vinroot and Charles Meeker, and 218 municipal officials representing 119 cities in our state.