I’ve been kind to you all. I’ve not given you the scoops I’ve picked up from DailyKos Elections on this ongoing fight we seem to be in about whether we voters choose our governments or our governments smack us down.
I’ve made a decision, though. If I have to go crazy reading about utterly bizarre and tyrannical antics certain states — which I will name — are going through in order to guarantee the GOP minority stays in power…well, I think I should drive you crazy, too. Because pain shared is pain…I dunno.
So, what’s doing in the endlessly nauseating state of North Carolina? These things. I’ve bolded the most disgusting points:
• North Carolina: In a major loss in the fight for fair elections, the North Carolina Supreme Court declined to issue a temporary restraining order to block several of the GOP’s deceptively written, power-grabbing constitutional amendments from appearing on the ballot this November. While a trial on the merits will still proceed, it’s doubtful that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the NAACP will find greater success, given that they failed to persuade the court’s Democratic majority that two of the amendments were too misleadingly written to put on the ballot.
Consequently, North Carolinians will vote on six amendments, three of which could determine whether legislative Republicans are able to further consolidate their ill-gotten power. Most dangerous is their amendment to usurp the governor’s power to fill judicial vacancies, effectively gerrymandering the judicial branch by giving Republicans in the legislature—who themselves owe their seats and their majority to gerrymandering—control over whom the governor can name.
If this amendment passes, Republicans then plan to take advantage of a provision that would allow them to pack the state Supreme Court by adding two more seats, which could turn the four-to-three Democratic majority into a five-to-four GOP advantage. Maintaining a Democratic majority on the court could prove critical for constraining Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts, which is why Republicans have gone to such extremes to try to win control over it.
But that’s not all. Voters will also decide on a measure that would have the legislature assume control over the state Board of Elections and thereby hobble it through partisan gridlock. That would allow Republicans to cut early voting locations to the bare minimum and simultaneously stop Democrats from restoring polling places that Republicans had removed from black neighborhoods and college campuses. And finally, voters will also vote on whether to require a photo ID to vote, a measure that a new poll finds passing by a 63-20 margin.
However, the united opposition to these amendments by every former governor and former state Supreme Court chief justice from both parties could help raise voter awareness that these proposals are a threat to democracy. Furthermore, if Democrat Anita Earls defeats Republican Justice Barbara Jackson in this year’s Supreme Court election, Republicans wouldn’t be able to pack their way to a majority after the election.
• North Carolina: The federal court that struck down North Carolina’s GOP congressional gerrymander last month ruled this week that the map can nevertheless remain in place for this year’s elections, which is an unsurprising outcome after the plaintiffs themselves told the court last Friday they believed there wasn’t enough time to redraw the map before Election Day. That also means North Carolina probably won’t get a new map for 2020 either, since the lower court’s ruling is very likely to get overturned on appeal next year once Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. That would leave the state courts as the last option for opponents of gerrymandering, since any such rulings would likely be insulated from Supreme Court review.
It’s like a horror movie, isn’t it? You can’t quite believe it’s happening, but it makes you vomit anyway.