Editorial summary: North Carolina | Raleigh News & Observer

Charlotte Observer. January 12, 2022.

Editorial: After Cards Decision, State Supreme Court To Defend Democracy In North Carolina

It was fitting that a trial over the new North Carolina electoral maps would take place around the anniversary of the January 6 assault on the United States Capitol, as the question before the three-judge panel was to whether the court would prevent another assault on democracy.

The assault in the North Carolina capital was not led by foreigners storming the legislative chambers. It was a quiet end to a fair election run by Republican members of the North Carolina General Assembly as they drew and approved electoral maps designed to keep their party in power regardless of popular will.

On Tuesday, judges unanimously ruled that the local coup was OK. It will now be up to the state Supreme Court to stand up for a fair election and restore democracy to North Carolina.

Cynics predicted the move by simply examining the judicial panel’s affiliations: Superior Court Justices Graham Shirley, Nathaniel Poovey and Dawn Layton – two Republicans and a Democrat. But the more optimistic supporters of democracy hoped that partisanship would not blind Republicans on the electoral maps clearly drawn to give Republicans not only an unfair advantage, but in many districts an insurmountable advantage.

In the end, Layton joined his fellow Republicans, giving the decision a false sense of unanimous approval. In fact, the judges were skeptical about the fairness of the cards, but turned to the legality of the card-making process itself.

“This court does not endorse either the adopted cards or their anticipated potential outcomes,” the judges wrote. “Despite our disdain for having to deal with issues that potentially lead to results inconsistent with democratic principles and subject our state to ridicule, this court must remember that these cards are the result of a democratic process.”

The plaintiffs, a group of voting rights advocates, presented expert after expert whose mathematical analysis of Republican charts showed the charts to be outliers far removed from what balanced charts would look like. The cards could produce results as lopsided as a Republican 10-4 or 11-3 majority in the state’s congressional delegation and could drag Republicans back to veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. of State.

The court’s decision was disappointing, but not unexpected, given the 2-1 Republican majority on the panel. Layton’s assent is unfortunate because it strengthens the Republicans’ position on appeal. But given the judges’ decision to vote on process over product, Layton’s vote is understandable.

Hilary Harris Klein, lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a press release that “We remain convinced that our conclusive evidence of partisan bias, obfuscation and attacks on black representation, from expert testimony to the cartographers, will convince the state’s highest court to protect voters from nefarious efforts to build partisan power at the expense of free elections and fair representation.

The state Supreme Court should quickly deal with this case by examining how the cards deprive voters of the right to vote based on their race or political opinion – two aspects Republicans shamelessly argue they don’t have taken into account. Ever since Republicans took control of the General Assembly, they have made North Carolina a national embarrassment for the right to vote and fair elections. Many courts have found their electoral laws and district maps to be unconstitutional efforts to deny certain voters their rights.

After a decade of that, North Carolina deserves to have an election conducted with fair cards.

In this case, dramatically, the State Supreme Court is really the court of last resort. If its seven judges defend not only the letter, but the spirit of the law, they should be unanimous in overturning the lower court’s decision. The Supreme Court should throw out the Republicans’ distorted maps and establish clear criteria to redraw them in a manner consistent with democratic principles.


Greensboro News and Registration. January 0, 2022.

Editorial: Democracy in Danger

The Americans know something is going on.

In a recent poll conducted by USA Today and the University of Suffolk, 86% of Republican respondents and 82% of Democrats expressed concern about the future of American democracy.

At this point, with new voter suppression laws and gerrymandering in the Red States, as well as Republican lawmakers in states granting themselves the power to overrule election results, who isn’t worried?

Yet the specifics of Republican concerns are not based on these obvious factors, but on wacky conspiracy theories, such as the white supremacist ‘big replacement’ theory that has migrated from the fringes of their party to their mainstream and their mainstream. zombie belief that Democrats regularly steal. elections while brilliantly leaving no fingerprints.

That’s not to say Democrats aren’t problematic in their own way. But rather than relying on criticism of actual Democratic policies and actions, the right-wing media bubble has for some time been weaving fantastical conspiracy theories over fake birth certificates, with activist George Soros funding immigrant caravans. to ‘invade’ the United States, space lasers controlled by the Jewish Rothchild family, microchips embedded in vaccines and a stolen election orchestrated by a variety of international political opponents united to deprive former President Trump of the right to vote. At one point, the mind is astounding at the enormity of the project and its inexplicable success. Americans, quite simply, should be smarter than swallowing all this nonsense.

But it is the result of decades of Tory AM radio and cable TV drumbeat with little opportunity to push back or fact-check as well as Republican political efforts to delegitimize the government. democratic government in any form. It is a drumbeat that has influenced its targets to prepare to accept – and perpetrate – inevitable political violence on their behalf.

Like the protester in the Netflix satirical film “Don’t Look Up” who looks up and sees the comet the President calls “fake news”, we are still waiting for reality to kick in, for independent skeptics to apply it. Occam’s razor and realize that the most likely possibility behind it is that they are being lied to. We continue to wait.

So are government officials, former Trump associates, academics and historians, all of whom warn of a continued Republican plan to wipe out democracy itself – all in the name of protecting the democracy.

Some of these academics are now warning that the elections of 2022 or 2024 may be the last we can consider legitimate, if we don’t take action to address the issues now.

To those who, after all this time, still demand that Biden “prove” that he won, the independent vote count in each state proves he won – that’s what elections are for – like this. is the case for every other election in American history. . The burden of proof lies with those who claim otherwise – a task they have consistently failed in recounts, biased audits and the courts. “I can’t believe Joe Biden won” is not a valid point.

Yet the Big Lie persists.

It’s like the biggest tantrum in American history. It won’t make our nation great; it makes our nation mean.

And endangered.

We know that conscientious and rational Republicans exist in great numbers. We often see them at work in local politics and local charities, seeking the best solutions for our communities. We see them running successful businesses in a beneficial and even generous way. They call us and razz us and we’re happy to hear from them.

We also know that a significant number of conservative officials, experts and academics have turned against the irrational populism that Trump and his allies are manipulating for political ends.

Many of them are speaking up, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, who recently tweeted, “The Republican Party has to make a choice. We can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, but we can’t be both. “

We have reached the stage where we need everyone on the bridge. If democracy is to survive in America – if America is to remain the America we have all known and loved our entire lives – rational Republicans will have to reject the extremist politics that consumed so much of their party, fueled by a media juggernaut that lives for money, notes and clicks rather than to inform and enlighten. They will have to exhort and educate their friends to look up and see the comet.

We need rational conservatives to help us move towards a shared, peaceful and prosperous future.

It will not be found in anything with the name “Trump”.

To look for.


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