Now we learn that the congressional districts carved by Republicans in North Carolina are illegal because they gave undue attention toward creating majority-minority districts. That is the conclusion of a federal court panel that released its ruling yesterday.
This is a classic example of absurdity heaped upon utter farce.
The Voting Rights Act encourages racial gerrymandering. In fact, here is the Wikipedia entry that explains the issue:
While Section 2 and Section 5 prohibit jurisdictions from drawing electoral districts that dilute the votes of protected minorities, the Supreme Court has held that in some instances, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents jurisdictions from drawing district lines to favor protected minorities. The Court first recognized the justiciability of affirmative "racial gerrymandering" claims in Shaw v. Reno (1993). In Miller v. Johnson (1995), the Court explained that a redistricting plan is constitutionally suspect if the jurisdiction used race as the "predominant factor" in determining how to draw district lines. For race to "predominate", the jurisdiction must prioritize racial considerations over traditional redistricting principles, which include "compactness, contiguity, [and] respect for political subdivisions or communities defined by actual shared interests.":916:621 If a court concludes that racial considerations predominated, then the redistricting plan is considered "racially gerrymandered" and must be subjected to strict scrutiny, meaning that the redistricting plan will be upheld as constitutional only if it is narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest. In Bush v. Vera (1996),:983 a plurality of the Supreme Court assumed that complying with Section 2 or Section 5 constituted compelling interests, and lower courts have allowed only these two interests to justify racial gerrymandering.:877
In other words, the courts have decided to interpret the law by using artificially contrived legal tests. Of course, the entire exercise-- the law itself, and the courts' exalted tests-- are probably illegal and unconstitutional, but that is nothing new. That has rarely restrained them during modern times.
What heightens the absurdity is that one of the districts in question-- Alma Adams' district, the 12th-- was originally drawn by the courts to further racial gerrymandering. It was created by the federal courts as a slithering, snake-like mess. Now, the court is saying-- No! You can't do that!
One key theorem at Triad Conservative is that federal judges often tend to be political hacks and activists.
The key author of this particular decision, Roger Gregory, is an African-American who was initially appointed to the judiciary by Bill Clinton. He and Max Cogburn, another judge handling the case, also played a critical role in striking down North Carolina's marriage amendment. And of course, "Our Bill Osteen", a Bush appointee, was the Republican judge from Greensboro who weaseled out of doing the right thing when the gay marriage issue was addressed by the courts.
Here is the bottom line. The political left-- in the courts, in the media and within the Democratic Party-- once thought racial gerrymandering was a great idea. They played up the racial politics to the hilt. And the Republicans played along-- even to the extent that they reauthorized the Voting Rights Act about a decade ago.
Now, the left has come to the realization that racial gerrymandering can be used against them, and has boxed them out of being competitive for more seats. So Gregory-- the black judge-- and various other forces have decided that the likelihood of success for Democratic candidates is much more important than having blacks serve in office.
That is the bottom line. What a farce.