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NC Elections Cases at SCOTUS

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
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August 29, 2022 2:51 pm

NC Elections Cases at SCOTUS

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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August 29, 2022 2:51 pm

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes back Dr. Andy Jackson from the Civitas Center to discuss the status of two U.S. Supreme Court cases that will address North Carolina’s redistricting and election process.


Family policy matters in engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fall better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy Devitt Griggs thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. We talked quite a bit on this shell about the US Supreme Court remarkable session that recently concluded with the landmark overruling of Roe V Wade, but the high court also ruled on an important North Carolina specific case and agreed to take up a separate North Carolina case that could have far-reaching and long-lasting implications for elections not just in North Carolina but across the country will Dr. Andy Jackson, director of the scimitar Center for Public integrity. The John Locke foundation focuses on government compliance with the law, especially regarding election policy. Dr. Andy Jackson, welcome back to family policy matters right so the US Supreme Court weighed in on North Carolina's continuing litigation related to voter ID and our state. What did their 81 decision in this case decide what is important to remember, not on the underlying theory about whether or not North Carolina voter ID law violates federal voting rights with little or no effect on the question of whether or not the legislature can intervene in the case of and there will be one, but what could and so going to allow. With lawyers hired by the state legislature defending the barrel.

This didn't change the status of voter ID but what is that that what is the status in North Carolina will North Carolina is being held up by a federal court. Also North Carolina Ct. and looked like we were still at least several months of litigation ahead of us on the 30th. Does the US Supreme Court's ruling in this case have implications outside of this particular voter ID case does because there's been an ongoing issue for going back a few years when Roy Cooper, Doug Gov. was the Atty. Gen. North Carolina no just on the concern by member Gen. assembly Atty. Gen. have not been vigorously pending laws that the legislature passed a coequal branch of government, and they have an interest in making sure that laws they pass are defended in the other time when Brian has had political agreements with the court. Perhaps most famously, recently, refusal to try to reinstate North Carolina's abortion law that the Gen. assembly passed your back.

Also he led David biked to the north, the portable election to alter, enter into an agreement with the remark life all for election law in the 2020 rate and so with this kind of history. Gen. somebody want to be able to send laws but they don't believe Atty. Gen. Stein or the lawyer working for him have the heart in defending and this is similar to legislation that got passed in the state budget in 2021 so that they're allowed to defend blog in state court. This ruling expend similar protection for the legislature and federal court Always found it interesting that the Atty. Gen. apparently can pick and choose which of the state laws he wants to to just send is that part of his job description or is he doing something that he's really not supposed to be doing well. They do have some leeway to me. They are independently elected course is a coequal branch of government.

The best it's unfortunate that you kind of picking and choosing these cases for what appears to be political rather than legal reason. It would be hard. I think for the state luggage pointer to remove them for that. But this is kind of the next best thing we able to sideline him from UK that they believe that he's not really up to the task or willing to do the task of defending loss right so this provides a workaround for the legislature.

Okay so let's talk about the other case more V Harper which the court agreed to hear what is the question being presented in that case that one is a case and that really interest me one because what you got going on there is a whole constitutional question about whether or not legislature has the full authority under the comp the fusion to draw districts or is that the court as we may recall, the North Carolina Supreme Court overturned all of North Carolina's maps state how state legislatures.

The state legislature read through the state Gen. assembly maps, but the court itself through the congressional map so wasn't actually drawn by the Gen. assembly what the question here, it becomes reluctant because the Constitution which says that the matter time and place of elections is done by state legislatures that specified in the Constitution. So the question is, are there bodies other than state legislatures that are authorized to influence the process or even draw a map. That's what the Supreme Court have to decide after here's the case of October this case of course is specific to redistricting here North Carolina but could it have implications that would affect other states depends on how flawed the Supreme Court applies the case purple if they find for the legislature, and so you see, U.S. Constitution reserves or the state legislature to become narrowly defined that to just redistricting or the broadly applied that to all election laws and so it could potentially affect every state in the union because this was mentally say that as far as federal elections go not fatal what they plug the slate of county commissioner, but just federal election.

Only the state legislature can set regulations, rules, supervised by the US Supreme Court report for federal elections and this is somewhat similar to a case of US term limits versus Thorton, 1995 when the US Supreme Court states could not add new limits on what the Constitution says on people serving in Congress. This was a case where a state of Washington tried to set 12 year term limits for Congress to report that no you can't do that because the terms are set by Congress and the states aren't allowed to set different rules or regulations. This would be somewhat similar in saying that the country specifies the state legislators that that's regulations for federal election can't be overturned by Congress and supervised by this report so that other bodies aside from those three really don't have the same path. Love examples like this because I feel like people put so much emphasis on what happens on the federal level in the seed that states course I would be interested in this because I work at state public policy entity, but that what states do on the state level can have that bubble up the fact can't and I mean it can affect federal laws and policies and and really have sweeping effects as well and we seen that in the latest round of redistricting where the numeracy North Carolina. It was state judiciary that were striking down or allowing depending on the state of redistricting that was drawn by the various legislature so it certainly state have a big impact on you kind of the input into our democracy is redistricting so contentious in North Carolina. It seems like this is just a perennial issue that keeps coming back.

Is it like this in all states. Not like theis maybe not unique but we are unusual.

I've read that North Carolina and Texas are most litigated states for redistricting the North Carolina every 10 years after the census, the legislature draws a state how state Senate and congressional maps and we haven't had a set of three maps that survived the entire decade of the 1981.

The last time a set of maps that were passed were all three survived the entire decade, every decade, maps drawn by Republican maps drawn by Democrats at least one of those map has been down so that tell you one reason that you have so much good creeping litigation.

North Carolina is it so successful that if you're more likely to win a case more likely to pursue the case and so I don't do it change we started the holding decade with your three new maps and I would imagine we might see more in the future. We still have the constant court getting ready to hear an extension of the case that overturned via congressional judges do matter. I think that's another theme that we bring up quite a bit that sometimes that's an afterthought. When people look at the pallets that these changes are really important in our state entirely coequal branch of government.

You have two elections this year that will determine which party is in control of the entire indication from the US Supreme Court how they may be inclined to rule on some of these issues really interest. We do know that we have moved with the cold rule for for bringing up cases with CERT as we know that there's really for justices but think there is a compelling constitutional issue here. They don't have to sign their names on that and we also know that there really justices on record as saying that the legislators not the courts have the authority to make rules governing federal election, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil course which I will. I would say that those are almost definitely boats in support of that and then we can probably assume that the three progressive justices Hagan told me your and Brown Jackson are going to be going against the probably another against is Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in route traverses, because the redistricting case in 2019 that state courts do not federal were the proper venue for claim of political gerrymandering that leaves two justices that were kind of unsure of but Cavanaugh Amy Connie Barrett. This could be very close state rule in favor of the north, legislature do we hope that it could calm some of this litigation, basically for political gerrymandering. It would eliminate lawsuits over political gerrymandering not racial gerrymandering with all separate issue. Gerrymandering on claims that it is discriminatory based on political party we already had a ruling in the traverses, because I just mentioned. That said, that federal courts not a proper venue for that. If state courts are also cut out of this process been federal federal district and not for the state legislature, but federal redistricting would essentially be out of the purview for either the or federal court. And so that would be a major change that would eliminate the whole Avenue of redistricting legislation. We would certainly still see a lot of court cases for the state districts, but you have for federal district. It would really float things down, if not eliminated them. There is a backdoor for this, though there is a theory that all political gerrymandering is de facto racial gerrymandering because of the voting patterns by race flexible Democratic whites are little bit more likely to vote Republican. And so under that theory you might be a whole new slew of racial gerrymandering lawsuit in both state and federal court.

Any chance at all that these cases are going to affect elections this year or even the 2024 election. Not can affect elections this year because there are in the pipeline. They have this thing called the Purcell principal in federal court basically said that once things are going federal court should avoid intervening and so none of these cases are going to be decided in time for that principal not to apply almost always cases should be resolved before the 2024 election. However, so I would would expect that were going to have some final decision on political gerrymandering claims and a voter ID before 2024 for just about out of time for this week.

But before we go. Dr. Andy Jackson. Where can I listeners go to follow developments related to these cases and follow your work. There's a couple places. I recommend this blog called Scotus blog POTUS blog.

They follow all the court cases for North Carolina on these issues and others. You can also read my writing in the right of my colleague Jim early at the John Locke foundation and that is that on that is John Locke LOC GE model. Dr. Andy Jackson, director of the scimitar Center for Public integrity at the John Locke foundation. Thanks so much for being with us today on family policy matters. You can listing the family policy matters.

We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online and to learn more about NC families work to inform, encourage and inspire families across both Carolina or website it NC family.award that's NC

Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family

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