About those November 8 North Carolina elections…
…they didn’t go well. North Carolina’s majority legislative party swept all state-wide judicial races, and now effectively owns our courts. (Of historical interest, perhaps – after the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the German system of justice underwent “coordination” – effectively meaning alignment with Nazi goals.)
During this year’s campaigning, winning judicial candidates spoke of fair and blind justice. But like the current U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), they’re sure to display unabashed bias, especially where redistricting and gerrymandering are concerned. In a preview of what North Carolina voters can expect, both GOP Supreme Court candidates stated they’d have allowed unconstitutional gerrymandered maps to stand (March ’22 Hall v. Harper.) The state judiciary now politicized, an entire branch of our checks and balance system wiped out in a day.
That portends disaster for any litigation that favors democracy, voting rights, public education, Medicaid expansion, protest and discourse, environment, or sensible gun laws.
Until 2028! At the earliest! And perhaps not even then.
On the horizon for the Old North State, a government run by the politicians, not the people. Free and fair elections? Not by a long shot! And of course, it began with the loathsome act of gerrymandering…politicians picking their voters by rigging elections. Democracy? Hardly!
And looming dark on the horizon, next Wednesday, December 7, SCOTUS will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper. The case will decide if state constitutions and state courts should have oversight to correct legislatures’ unconstitutional gerrymanders. In other words, should state legislatures have free rein to rig elections without judicial oversight. Another shot at those pesky checks and balances, this one likely mortal.
Writing last Friday about the just completed elections, North Carolina Law professor Gene Nichol offered…”on November 8 the people stood in the breach. Standing against election deniers (including seven N.C. members of the U.S. House) who lie as a way of being. Standing against Republican lawmakers obsessed with denying the defining foundation right to vote. Standing against gun-toting extremist groups seeking unsuccessfully to scare their adversaries away from the polls. Standing against justices profoundly unworthy of the name. Standing against authoritarianism and for the actual American dream.”
Sounds pretty good…until you come to North Carolina…where Gerry Mander’s vision prevailed. And where democracy, which is supposed to be about inclusion, took it on the chin! Maybe for the rest of our lives! Chew on that for a while!
Democracy really matters! If you believe in it, defend it! Otherwise, expect this: