SCSJ, Common Cause to appeal ‘disappointing’ NC redistricting ruling
Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 11, 2021) — A three-judge panel upheld North Carolina lawmakers’ partisan gerrymanders Tuesday despite calling them “a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting,” in a case consisting of three consolidated challenges to the states’ 2021 enacted voting maps: North Carolina League of Conservation Voters et al. v. Hall, Harper et al. v. Hall and Common Cause v. Hall.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), which represented plaintiff Common Cause alongside pro bono counsel from law firm Hogan Lovells, immediately responded to the ruling, calling it “disappointing” — but vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“While this ruling is disappointing, all signs ultimately point to the N.C. Supreme Court resolving this case,” said Senior Counsel for Voting Rights, Hilary Harris Klein. “We remain confident that our conclusive evidence of partisan bias, obfuscation, and attacks on Black representation, from expert testimony to the mapmakers’ own admissions, will convince the state’s highest court to protect voters from nefarious efforts to entrench partisan power at the expense of free elections and fair representation.”
Bob Phillips, Executive Director of state affiliate Common Cause North Carolina called lawmakers’ maps extreme gerrymanders, and said if allowed to stand they would “undermine free and fair elections in North Carolina.”
“Our trial presented overwhelming evidence that the legislature engaged in extreme gerrymandering that would undermine free and fair elections in North Carolina. The evidence clearly showed that Republican legislative leaders brazenly ignored legal requirements designed to protect voting rights for Black North Carolinians. If allowed to stand, these extreme gerrymanders would cause profound and lasting harm to the people of our state, especially hurting Black communities, by depriving voters of a voice in choosing their representatives,” said Phillips. “We look forward to taking our case to the state Supreme Court. We are confident that the people of North Carolina will ultimately prevail in our fight for fair maps.”
In December 2021, the N.C. Supreme Court delayed the state’s primary elections from March 8, 2022 to May 17, 2022. The state Supreme Court will likely decide the expedited case before the candidate filing period for the delayed primary begins in February 2022.
Bryan Warner, BWarner@commoncause.org, 919-836-0027; Common Cause NC
Sailor Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-260-5906; SCSJ
Gino Nuzzolillo, email@example.com, 402-415-4763; SCSJ
Melissa Boughton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 830-481-6901, SCSJ
Ritchenya A. Dodd, email@example.com, 212-918-6155; Hogan Lovells
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.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications.
Global law firm Hogan Lovells has a long tradition of supporting ground-breaking social developments, focusing on access to justice and the rule of law. As lawyers we recognize this commitment is part of our professional practice and collectively we spend 150,000+ pro bono hours per year on work to achieve lasting impact for others.