Activist judges draw red line

Thousands of North Carolinians will find themselves living in a new Congressional district as of Sept. 1. The deadline to redraw districts was imposed by three federal judges in a July 31 ruling that will inevitably drive campaign strategists crazy ahead of elections in 2018. More time will be spent on introducing voters to a new district; less time devoted to issues.

TheHill.com reports the order “impacts 28 of the state’s 170 General Assembly districts, which the court said last year discriminated against African-American voters by weakening their political power.”

Opponents of the existing map claim it disproportionately places minority voters in too few districts. But how North Carolina has arrived at this moment is a case study in how the judiciary has become the arbiter of matters that the Founders intended to be the sole responsibility of states.

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans A. von Spakovsky writes, “Over 70 years ago, Justice Felix Frankfurter warned the Supreme Court against getting into the ‘political thicket’ of redistricting.

“In Colegrove v. Green, he said that the court should not get into the business of drawing political maps. But starting in the early 1960s, the Supreme Court ignored that warning. It has since handed down a series of decisions regarding redistricting. Unfortunately, the rules established in these decisions are very confusing, which is why there are more redistricting cases before the Supreme Court almost every term.”

Read von Spakovsky’s comprehensive overview posted to Heritage.org.

Read TheHill.com’s report on what lies ahead for North Carolina legislators in the next 30 days. Thomas Hofeller, a redistricting expert, will lead the effort.

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