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Rep. Bishop Running in New District After Court Adopts New NC Congressional Map

February 25, 2022 by Dan McCue
Rep. Bishop Running in New District After Court Adopts New NC Congressional Map
Rep. Joe Bishop, R-N.C.

WASHINGTON — Days after he suggested he might not seek reelection, Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., who currently represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, announced Friday he will run instead in the newly drawn 8th Congressional District.

Bishop revealed his intentions on the “Bo Thompson Morning Show” on WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina.

His decision came just two days after he lambasted a panel of superior court judges that adopted a new congressional map that dramatically altered the district he’s represented since winning a special election in September 2019.

“Activist judges have subverted our constitution,” Bishop said in a written statement posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday. 

“I am weighing whether to run in the court-imposed 8th or 9th District. But I am also actively exploring running for state-wide judicial office — in 2022 we will restore constitutional government in North Carolina.”

By Friday, a calmer Bishop confirmed to Thompson and co-host Brett Jensen that he will indeed run in the new 8th Congressional District. But he still seemed far from happy that a court decision compelled him to do so.

“Isn’t it amazing?” he said to the talk show hosts. “I’ve lived in the 9th Congressional District all my life … and now, as a result of a bunch of turmoil going on about the district map, I’m having to play a game of musical chairs.

“Now, it may sound like I’m making light of the situation, but what has occurred here is really of just inordinate gravity in terms of the way our government is supposed to work,” Bishop continued.

“A partisan majority of the North Carolina Supreme Court has taken the district map passed by the legislature — a power conferred upon the legislature by both the U.S. and state constitution — and said, we don’t like the fact there are political considerations that went into this map, and we don’t like the math you employed, and they just threw the legislature’s map out and imposed their own map.

“In other words, they transferred a power constitutionally conferred on the legislature and simply gave it to themselves,” he said.

“So it’s a usurpation of power, an abuse of judicial power, the likes of which I’ve never seen in all the time I’ve paid attention to government,” he said.

Thompson and Jensen mentioned they’d spoken to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who told them he believes there should be independent, nonpartisan committees tasked with redistricting after every census.

“That’s a respectable opinion,” Bishop said, “even if it’s a completely different opinion than Gov. Cooper held when he was in the legislature.”

“I don’t share that view. I think the best way to do it is to have those who are elected by the people do it,” he said. “But whichever way you want to do it, there’s a way to ensure it happens. You have candidates from all over the state run for office saying, ‘this is what [we] want to do. This is how we want to handle redistricting.’

“Then, when they get elected to the general assembly, they can propose an amendment to the Constitution of North Carolina and let the people decide whether to adopt that approach or not.

“It simply shouldn’t be up to [four] judges to decide this matter on behalf of ten-and-a-half million people. That’s not the way it works. And it really matters,” Bishop said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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