Amicus: North Carolina NAACP v. Berger

Election Protection

On November 29, 2021, former Governors Michael F. Easley of North Carolina, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, William F. Weld of Massachusetts, and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, represented by States United Democracy Center and Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP’s redistricting complaint. The brief explained why extreme partisan gerrymandering harms democracy by allowing politicians to shape districts to pick their voters, instead of allowing voters to pick their politicians. In the complaint, plaintiffs argue that the state legislature’s failure to use racial data when drawing maps violates its duty to protect minority voters from having their votes diluted, as required by the Voting Rights Act and incorporated in the state Constitution. On November 30th, the court heard the NAACP’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block the implementation of the maps in question. While Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley refused to force state lawmakers to redo them, he did not make any judgments on the lawfulness of the enacted maps. The hearing was critical to understanding what is at stake in North Carolina and anywhere that suffers from partisan mapmaking. 

 “Democracy and political gerrymandering are totally at odds. Democracy demands free and fair elections for the people. Political gerrymandering requires a manipulated and rigged system against the people” said former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley. “And the only way to protect the people’s rights is for the courts to get rid of this manipulated and rigged system”

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