North Carolina
Photo credit: Mr.TinDC / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

When the conservatives on the US Supreme Court keep concluding that race-based gerrymandering policies were at play in red and purple states, it’s probably time to admit that, yes, racism is an ongoing factor adversely affecting our democracy.

In a clear victory for black voters in the Tar Heel State, the nation’s highest court last Monday wiped out two Republican-drawn House districts found to have been a product of unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

The ruling follows similar SCOTUS findings in Virginia (March) and Alabama (2015). Still, the pattern hasn’t been enough to keep more stubborn conservatives from insisting the practice of creating bizarre snake-like districts is based on mere politics (which is bad enough already and a practice they have in common with Democrats), not race.

“The Court made it clear that it would not allow states to get away with an unlawful racial gerrymandering by claiming that it’s just politics,” said Kristen Clarke of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This is a critical decision as communities prepare for the 2020 redistricting cycle, where states would still be able to purposely create legitimate majority-minority districts, consistent with this opinion.”

Gerrymandering is a topic that cuts to the heart of WhoWhatWhy’s election integrity initiative. Back in March, in a lengthy piece entitled “How North Carolina’s Republicans are Fighting Democracy,” we examined the developments there that led to Monday’s ruling.

Check out our Threats to Democracy section for past WhoWhatWhy coverage of issues like this.

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