We already knew that the federal Congressional districts in North Carolina were drawn illegally, after a three-judge panel threw them out back in February and the party in power scrambled to submit new ones in time for a special May primary created just for the occasion.
Those districts’ illegality hinged on the use of race as an indicator: Turns out you’re not allowed to just draw lines around a few black neighborhoods and call it a district.
So it should surprise exactly no one that our state legislative districts are illegal, too.
And they’re not just illegal — they’re unconstitutional, positively un-American.
Our infamous gerrymandering of the state’s 170 legislative districts came in 2011, a year after the Republicans gained the majority and looked to hold onto it. Their butchery ran from Murphy to Manteo, marginalizing white Democrats while excessively factoring race into the new boundaries.
Last week federal judges found 28 of these districts to be unconstitutional, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. This means we’ve already had two illegal elections in this state, and are about to have a third.
“We agree that these unconstitutional, challenged districts have already caused Plaintiffs substantial stigmatic and representational injuries…. However, we are also cognizant that the timing… is particularly delicate in this case,” the opinion reads.
So the crooks — for that is what you call people who engage in illegal activity — have until 2018 to get it together, nabbing one more illegal election under their belt before justice is restored.
Meanwhile the people of North Carolina are growing fatigued by the shenanigans of the Republican majority, which has been crafting bunk legislation and forcing us to live under it from the day they took over after the 2010 election.
They were elected to write laws, but we’re finding that much of the output from this majority party aren’t laws at all — they are crimes against the Constitution.
And the fact remains: If your party’s ideas are so good, you shouldn’t have to use deceit and fraud to enact them.
We’ve had enough of sham politicians crafting illegal laws. And though far too many of them run unopposed in this next farce of an election, perhaps we can nudge a few of them out before North Carolina returns to the ranks of states that adhere to the US Constitution.