The election has passed, the results neither as terrible nor as wonderful as we thought they could be.
Perhaps the biggest news of the night in our state was an evenly divided Congressional delegation — seven Republicans and seven Democrats — that finally gives our state fair representation in the House. Fair enough, anyway; registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 275,000 people, and unaffiliated voters outnumber Dems by more than 135,000.
Or perhaps the biggest story of the night was the GOP sweep of our state Supreme Court.
This could have disastrous results.
Consider that on Election Night, Rep. Kathy Manning specifically thanked the NC Supreme Court for her victory, because they threw out the gerrymandered Republican maps that would have resulted in a 10-14 split in the House. When the Republican leadership attempts to once again gerrymander the state with grotesquely partisan maps, can we count on this new court to put people before party?
Consider, too, that our new Supreme Court will likely be the final arbiter of the Leandro decision, which dictates that the state increase public-education spending by many millions of dollars. That the outgoing Supreme Court ruled on a couple weeks ago does not eliminate the possibility of a rerun; this was the fourth time the case has made it up to the Supremes since it was first decided in 1994.
In 1994! How many of our children have passed through these poorly funded schools since then?
We also know that the NC Legislature plans on passing a statewide abortion ban next session. Though they don’t have enough votes, on paper, to override a gubernatorial veto, they’re only one short, and that’s if everybody shows up, which is not always the case.
But maybe — maybe — we’re being alarmist about the whole thing. The GOP takeover of the NC Supreme Court is big news only if the court begins to act in as partisan a fashion as the US Supreme Court has since the conservatives took over — specifically the ones who lied to Congress to get their jobs, or the one whose spouse helped plan the Jan. 6 Insurrection.
In other words, it’s still possible that our judges are less scummy than those judges. We will know the truth of it soon enough.
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