NC Supreme Court needs to walk back from the ledge and uphold Harper v. Hall

This article was originally published in The Winston-Salem Journal.

Less than a year after the N.C. Supreme Court announced its decision in Harper v. Hall, determining that extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the North Carolina Constitution, the court heard the very same case again on Tuesday. This rehearing occurred not because of any change in the law, nor the emergence of new facts. This exceedingly rare move by the court — in the last three decades, the court has granted fewer than 1% of rehearing requests — is the result of an election.

In November, Republican justices won a majority of the court’s seats. Pro-gerrymandering legislators immediately asked the newly constituted court to reverse its Harper decision, and despite the unprecedented nature of this request, the court is entertaining it.

The people’s compact with their elected government depends on a belief that courts apply the rules fairly, regardless of the political persuasion of the parties or the person holding the gavel. The state Supreme Court’s handling of the Harper case has brought the perception of it as a neutral arbiter to a precipice; overruling Harper would push it over.

Read the full article at The Winston-Salem Journal.

About the Author

Anne Tindall

Special Counsel

Anne Tindall is Special Counsel at Protect Democracy where she works to ensure that elections are free and fair, to prevent political violence, and to secure accountability for abuses of power at the federal and state level.

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