Today, Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein filed an amicus brief in the partisan gerrymandering case currently before the North Carolina Supreme Court for a rehearing after the Court’s composition changed in January. The brief urges the Court to leave in place its rulings from February and December 2022, which correctly recognized that North Carolina’s constitution guarantees the right to vote on equal terms and that electoral maps adopted by Republican legislators in 2021 are unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. The newly constituted Supreme Court agreed to rehear the case in February at the request of Republican legislative leaders.
“The Court should reject this shameless partisan effort to overturn Supreme Court decisions that protect the ability of voters to fairly select their representatives in our democracy,” said Governor Cooper. “Nothing has changed in this case but the partisan composition of the Court. The meaning of our Constitution does not change when the justices do.”
“There is nothing more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote and to have that vote matter,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “Partisan gerrymandering was wrong and unlawful when the Supreme Court ruled on this case last year, and it remains wrong and unlawful today. North Carolina’s constitution makes clear that all of the power belongs to the people, and that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. I urge the Court to not take the extraordinary step of overruling its previous decision and instead respect the rule of law by reaffirming that partisan gerrymandering violates our constitution and undermines our democracy.”
Governor Cooper and Attorney General Stein’s brief explains that granting Republican legislators’ request to overturn the Court’s recent decisions would be unprecedented in the Court’s history, contrary to the Court’s rules, and undermine the stability and legitimacy of the rule of law. The brief explains that “our State’s elected representatives cannot be allowed to entrench themselves in power by manipulating district lines to insulate themselves from popular will.” The Supreme Court’s 2022 decisions “ensure that partisan gerrymandering does not fatally undermine the power of North Carolinians to govern themselves.”
Read the brief here.