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Election Law @ Moritz

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Litigation

 

Common Cause v. Rucho

Case Information

Date Filed: August 5, 2016
State: North Carolina
Issue: Redistricting
Current Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Case 1:16-CV-1026)

Issue:

Whether North Carolina's 2016 Congressional Redistricting Plan violates:

(1) the First Amendment;

(2) the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

(3) the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

(4) Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution because representatives would allegedly not be chosen by "the people of the several states" but in effect by the majority party of the state legislature; and

(5) Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution regarding state legislatures' authority to prescribe the times, places, and manner of holding elections.

Status:

Complaint filed 8/5/16. Time to file answer extended to 10/31/16. Answer filed 3/3/17. Opinion and Order denying motion to dismiss filed 3/3/17.

 

District Court Documents

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Gerrymandering Is Headed Back to the Supreme Court

Professor Edward Foley was requoted in Mother Jones about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times originally reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times, adding,  “He’s going to look at what’s going on in North Carolina as the complete absence of that. I think that helps the plaintiffs in any of these cases.”


 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms District Court: NC Redistricting Unconstitutional

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the District Court, finding that North Carolina\'s Congressional redistricting plan violated the U.S. Constitution. The Court determined that racial considerations unlawfully predominated the designing of the contested districts. The case is Cooper v. Harris.

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