North Carolina Begins Process of Redrawing District Maps

November 5, 2019 by Dan McCue
The North Carolina State Capitol. (Via Instagram)

North Carolina lawmakers convened Tuesday afternoon to take the first procedural steps to draw new congressional maps in time for use in the 2020 elections.

In all, 18 Republicans and Democrats turned out for a committee meeting at the General Assembly building in Raleigh, N.C., a week ahead of the next meeting of the state legislature.

In early September, a three-judge panel of state judges ruled districts used to elect members of the General Assembly were unconstitutional, having been drawn by Republican lawmakers specifically to disadvantage Democrats.

The Republicans responded by redrawing state House and Senate Districts.

Encouraged by these developments, Democrats turned to the courts again, challenging the district map used to elect the state’s 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

That led, in late October, to the same three-judge panel alerting Republican lawmakers that they would likely lose again. The judges encouraged the lawmakers to just get on with redrawing the maps and avoid needless litigation.

The legislators agreed, setting the stage for Tuesday’s meeting with Democrats.

No timeline has been established for completing the new congressional district map, but it is believed lawmakers want to have the map finished by the end of the month.

The period for candidates to file to run in the 2020 elections starts Dec. 2 and ends Dec. 20.

If the new maps aren’t done by then, or if the judges reject them, the planned March 3 primaries for the U.S. House could be postponed until later in the year.

While many saw Tuesday’s meeting as a positive step, not everyone was happy.

“[On Monday] evening, the North Carolina Senate President and House Speaker appointed an interim redistricting committee to start work on new Congressional maps and announced that its first public meeting would be held less than 24 hours later,” said Lekha Shupeck, state director of All On The Line, a grassroots redistricting organization.

“This is unacceptable — less than a single day’s notice is not enough time for citizens to make arrangements to attend,” Shupeck said.

“The last court ordered map redrawing process was a disappointment right from the start with regard to transparency and citizen participation, and this latest remedial process is not off to a good start either,” she said. “North Carolina legislators must drastically improve the accessibility of the process this time around. Before the maps are drawn, the interim committee needs to release a public hearing schedule with locations across the state and at least four days notice before the hearings occur.

“This criteria is the bare minimum that legislators need to meet in order to show adequate respect for the North Carolinians who will be directly impacted by the committee’s decisions,” Shupeck added.

Political News

Iran Nuclear Deal Remains on Life Support
Geopolitics
Iran Nuclear Deal Remains on Life Support
January 24, 2020
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The Iran nuclear deal has been on life support for nearly two years since President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from it. The remaining signatories of the deal, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, have... Read More

Buttigieg Tells Conference America Would Be Better Governed With 'A Mayor's Eye View'
2020 Elections
Buttigieg Tells Conference America Would Be Better Governed With 'A Mayor's Eye View'
January 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A year to the day after ushering reporters into a windowless conference room at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting here to announce his seemingly unlikely bid for the White House, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg returned to the conference Thursday as a... Read More

Blue Dogs Back Legislation to Secure Voting Systems
Elections
Blue Dogs Back Legislation to Secure Voting Systems
January 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed H.R. 4990, the Election Technology Research Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill that will give the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation new resources to enhance the security of U.S.... Read More

Nation's Mayors at Forefront of Climate Change Fight
Climate
Nation's Mayors at Forefront of Climate Change Fight
January 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Though the Trump administration continues to deny the validity of climate science, a new report suggests that both Democratic and Republican mayors across the nation are taking definitive steps to reduce carbon pollution, a leading contributor to climate change. The report, which was released... Read More

Despite Bipartisan Support, Some Still Resist HFC Phase-Out Bill
Health
Despite Bipartisan Support, Some Still Resist HFC Phase-Out Bill
January 24, 2020
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — A House bill generally supported by congressional Republicans and manufacturers to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) nevertheless raised a few red flags when it came up before a House subcommittee last week. HFCs are a class of chemicals primarily used as refrigerants that gained widespread... Read More

View From the Gallery: Senators Sit, Spin and Fidget During Trump Trial
Political News
View From the Gallery: Senators Sit, Spin and Fidget During Trump Trial

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Cassidy charted a course along the back corner of the Senate chamber Thursday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The Louisiana Republican walked through an area usually reserved for staff seating, hands in pockets, retracing a short path over and over again... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top