Today, Representative David Lewis (R-Harnett) and Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), Chairmen of 2011 House and Senate Redistricting Committees, released the following joint statement in response to a procedural order from the U.S. Supreme Court on redistricting:
“Since 2011, every court that has issued an opinion and the Obama Justice Department has reached the same conclusion – North Carolina’s redistricting maps are constitutional. Today’s procedural ruling is not unexpected and we are confident that our state Supreme Court will once again arrive at the same result and the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm its decision.”
Today the U.S. Supreme Court gave the N.C. Supreme Court the opportunity to consider the impact of its recent ruling in Alabama on North Carolina’s redistricting case. The Alabama case is significantly different from the North Carolina case because it was based on a claim against the State of Alabama regarding Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that alleged their redistricting maps resulted in fewer minorities serving in the state legislature than otherwise would be expected. North Carolina’s case involves a substantially different argument using Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. And unlike in Alabama, the outcome of North Carolina’s redistricting plan has been the election of a record number of minorities to the N.C. General Assembly – including the leaders of the Senate and House Democratic Caucuses. While the U.S. Supreme Court has simply issued a procedural order calling for further review of North Carolina’s case, it has not issued any opinion. Its action is not substantive and offers no indication of how it might rule on the merits of the North Carolina case.
A majority-Democrat judicial panel unanimously ruled that congressional and legislative redistricting maps passed by the General Assembly in 2011 meet all applicable standards of federal and state law. Its decision was upheld by the N.C. Supreme Court.