Raleigh, N.C. – State House Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) held a press conference Wednesday reacting to the first two days of the legislative redistricting trial Common Cause v. Lewis that began before a three-judge panel in North Carolina this week.
Rep. Lewis leads the House Redistricting Committee in the North Carolina General Assembly and noted that plaintiffs in the case are even challenging voting districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties – where not a single House Republican lawmaker was elected to the state legislature.
A full transcript of Rep. Lewis’ prepared remarks from the press conference is below.
“This week, the Common Cause v. Lewis redistricting case began,” Rep. Lewis said. “So far, we have learned nothing new from Common Cause, the liberal litigation firm headed by Bob Phillips, the founder of the Sue ‘Till Blue movement, who is bought and paid for by Eric Holder and the Obama liberals that are attempting to destroy our state. Which we will not let them do.
“Let me be clear: this litigation is the strategy of Eric Holder and Obama who are focused on litigation instead of winning elections.
“Bob Phillips on the stand Monday afternoon admitted that the National Redistricting Trust is paying for this lawsuit for the plaintiffs, which is a 501(c)(4) that is largely funded by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, to which Eric Holder is a member of and also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to the North Carolina Democrats.
“There is no hiding it: the Democrats are bankrolling litigation to gain the majority instead of focusing on winning elections.
“As Mr. Phillips pointed out on Monday in court, his objections are entirely based on the process of redistricting in North Carolina, and not the districts themselves.
“He and his liberal colleagues cannot change the constitution which clearly vests the power to redistrict within the legislature, a fact reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States when Chief Justice Roberts said that partisan redistricting is non-justiciable.
“The Democrats will stop at nothing to get what they want as proven by the fact that this is the eighth redistricting lawsuit since Republicans won the majority in 2011.
“Let me also set the record straight: Bob Phillips and his squad of liberal attorneys lied on Monday when they said I refused to testify. As is normal procedure, I claimed legislative privilege during the discovery phase, but wanted to waive privilege 5-weeks later and testify.
“Opposing counsel would not allow me to waive, then stood in a courtroom and stated that I was some sort of coward for not testifying, which is far from the truth and is another example of how far they are willing to go to try to defame me and the Republican Party.
“Next, their continuous attempt to use my good friend, Mr. Tom Hofeller, as a pawn in their game to gain control is a shame.
“They continue to state that the well reported ‘Hofeller files’ are some sort of smoking gun, but are merely just the liberals’ attempt to defame a dead man who cannot defend himself.
“We did everything in accordance with the law, and they have yet to give even an ounce of evidence that there was any wrongdoing.
“Further, the Democrats in our state do not have a district problem, rather they have the inability to perform on Election Day. Democrats cannot win at the ballot box, even though their own experts’ data shows that they could have won more districts in 2018, but chose not to run moderate, attractive candidates went with flawed liberalists.
“Their argument is riddled with flaws and they cannot take responsibility for their own missteps, including the fact that they gerrymandered for years and had no constitutional objection to the process then. However, they object to it now since it does not enhance their liberal agenda, and will not stop suing our Republican majority until they believe they can get the court to draw them the majority that they desperately desire and feel entitled to.
“Perhaps, like adults, the Democrats should stop with their participation trophy outlook on elections: if they want to draw the districts, they should win the majority. As Rep. Graig Meyer stated, “being in the minority is not fun”. As someone who was in the minority for a decade, it takes hard work and good policy to get in the majority, not whining like children before the courts because you did not get your way.
“In life, you do not always get what you want and sometimes the circumstances are not always how you would like them to be. However, at some point, you have to pull yourselves up by the bootstraps and fix what is causing your circumstances. It is simple to me: if the Democrats want to draw the maps, they should run candidates that can win elections instead of continuing with their Sue ‘Till Blue Campaign.
“Until then, the majority party in the legislature is vested with the power to draw the districts, just as the Framers intended, and any solutions should be discussed in this legislature, not in the court room.”
The Common Cause v. Lewis trial is scheduled to continue in Raleigh on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.