[This letter was written by LWV-Wake member Cheryl Tung. She submitted the letter as a private citizen, not on behalf of the League.]
Published in the News & Observer - October 3, 2017
Legislature 'Power Grab'
“Proposal to overhaul maps shifts urban-rural equation” (Sept. 29) shows yet another maneuver of our State Legislature to control North Carolina’s judicial branch of government. We have already seen progress by their successful legislation to make judicial elections partisan enacted earlier this year. Rep. Justin Burr defends his re-drawing of all maps as a solution to population disparities in one county, Mecklenburg, which he claims disenfranchises voters.
However, this legislature has been shamefully and unapologetically disenfranchising voters in 28 legislative districts that have been ruled unconstitutional by our Supreme Court since 2011. While tweaks to correct some disparities may be necessary, the entire overhaul of our judicial system is just another blatant gerrymandering power-grab scheme. These maps are an attempt to stack the courts in their favor because they have been unhappy that courts have ruled against them in recent years. Mind you, the court decisions have largely been based on upholding the Voting Rights Act. The judicial community has spoken out against this proposed legislation, and for good reason. They want our judicial system to remain nonpartisan, and to force them otherwise will lead to major inefficiencies for the citizens the judicial system serves.
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article176850576.html#storylink=cpy