Voting Advocates File New Lawsuit In State Court Challenging NCGOP Gerrymandering
Already under siege in federal courts for alleged discrimination on the basis of race, the extreme partisan gerrymandered district maps face a new challenge. Plaintiffs in the latest case say that the maps drawn by the NC General Assembly last year violate the state’s constitutional guarantee of “free and fair elections.”
“When there is an intentional aggregation and apportionment of voters in a district that tilts the election towards one political party or candidate and, therefore, potentially preordains the outcome of the election, then a ‘fair’ election cannot take place and the constitutional rights of the voters have been violated,” says the lawsuit.
This latest challenge to the Republican-controlled legislature’s extreme gerrymandered Congressional and legislative district maps has been filed in North Carolina State Superior Court. The plaintiff voters are represented by former North Carolina State Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr, who was elected and served as a Republican. The lawsuit names as defendants the NC State Board of Elections and Republican legislative leaders House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
Prior to last year’s state elections, the NC Supreme Court agreed with the conclusion argued by this newest legal challenge. After last fall’s election resulted in two new Justices on the Court, it reversed itself in a new ruling on the old case. Ultimately, the new lawsuit will come before the Supreme Court again. In the meantime, it keeps this issue in the public’s view as they vote in another key election cycle.
Why Voting Matters For The Environment
A new poll of North Carolina voters for the NC League of Conservation Voters Foundation (NCLCVF) shows strong support for transitioning to clean energy and reducing the use of fossil fuels. Additionally, it shows that North Carolinians are making the connection between the rise of extreme weather events and human-influenced climate change.
Respondents were given a variety of energy sources and asked for their feelings towards them. Solar energy (79%) was the most favorable form of energy amongst the respondents, with fossil fuels (46%), nuclear (42%), and coal (41%) energy as the least favorable forms.
It goes beyond that, though. We believe communities and individuals have the right to vote and have that vote count. When communities dictate what their environment looks like, we believe environmental degradation and environmental injustices will be solved in an equitable and just manner.