FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
League of Women Voters Opposes H717, Urges NC Legislature to Instead Study Judicial Redistricting
RALEIGH, NC, September 26, 2017 – The NC House Select Committee on Judicial Redistricting is considering proposed bill H717 for judicial redistricting. The League of Women Voters of Wake County’s position is as follows:
An independent judiciary is a cornerstone of our governmental system of checks and balances. As such, the League of Women Voters of Wake County believes that judicial maps should never be motivated by partisan politics, unnecessarily rushed, or largely drawn behind closed doors. North Carolinians must have confidence that when an issue appears before a court—win or lose—cases are handled in an impartial manner and without the taint of partisan politics.
The League recognizes the need for redistricting from time to time. We are concerned, however, with the legislative process and the decision-making criteria for formulating new districts.
The legislature should not recommend new judicial districts at this time but should instead initiate an in-depth study of judicial redistricting. We urge the legislature to consider only impartial data such as population size and density, the nature and size of caseloads, geography, and any applicable requirements of the Voting Rights Act. Partisan data, such as previous election results or voters’ party affiliations, is irrelevant to any process aimed at maintaining an independent judiciary.
The League of Women Voters of Wake County calls on our elected officials to adopt a process characterized by greater deliberation, in-depth analysis of relevant nonpartisan data, and a much more transparent process. Undertaking a careful and thorough study of the courts is the wiser course of action.
The League of Women Voters of Wake County is a grassroots nonpartisan political organization working to encourage active participation in government, increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters does not endorse or oppose political parties or candidates for office. Learn more at www.lwvwake.org.
Dianna Wynn, Communications Coordinator
League of Women Voters of Wake County