N.C. House Redistricting Leader Responds to General Assembly Victory at U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court rules partisan redistricting is nonjusticiable, notes Framers deliberately gave redistricting authority to state legislators

Raleigh, N.C. – State House Redistricting Committee Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) responded Thursday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that partisan redistricting issues are nonjusticiable, a decision upholding the North Carolina General Assembly’s constitutional authority to create Congressional districts.

Rep. Lewis said the landmark decision confirms the people’s elected state representatives – not the courts – are closest to voters and properly, constitutionally empowered to draw legislative districts.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling notes that “the Framers chose a characteristic approach, assigning the issue to the state legislatures” and emphasized “the Framers’ decision to entrust districting to political entities” rather than courts.

“Nor was there any indication that the Framers had ever heard of courts doing such a thing,” the justices in the majority wrote.

Lewis called on the state Democratic Party and allied interest groups to stop wasting time and money on lawsuits while asking courts to deliver election victories that overrule the voices of North Carolina voters.

“It’s time for Democrats and their allied interest groups to win political battles at the ballot box by addressing their election problems – radical positions, radical candidates, and geographic isolation in urban centers – instead of asking courts to hand them victories that voters won’t,” Rep. Lewis said Thursday.   

“Despite the millions of dollars spent by political activist organizations, the Court issued a decision in our favor, determining that redistricting is the role of state legislatures, not the judicial branch.

“North Carolina uses traditional redistricting principles, some of the most stringent in the country, and in alignment with previous court rulings.

“Today’s ruling establishes precedent that it is not the judicial branch’s responsibility to determine the winners and the losers.  This is a complete vindication of our state and of our process.

“When courts decide if Republicans or Democrats win, it undermines their legitimacy. 

“If there are better ways to draw maps, let’s talk about it. The U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed that redistricting is an issue to be worked on in the General Assembly, by elected legislators, not courts.

“We agree with the U.S. Supreme Court that voters, not judges, should choose their elected representatives.”   

The decision vacates judgments of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and remands them with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.