Republicans are readying to plow ahead with ambitious gerrymandering despite previous reprimands from state courts — now that they’ve elected judges who are less likely to thwart their plans.
The first test of this strategy comes Tuesday when North Carolina’s GOP-dominated state Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether its previous Democratic majority erred in tossing out the initial map Republican legislators drew just two years ago. The move has drawn loud complaints from Democrats that the court only granted a redo now that the partisan balance has changed.
Between that and a similar remap looming in Ohio — where the state Supreme Court has also taken a lurch to the right since throwing out multiple GOP maps before the last election — Republicans could more than double their five-seat House majority through redistricting alone. That would give Speaker Kevin McCarthy a much-needed cushion in 2024.
Party operatives believe a favorable ruling in North Carolina could clear the way for a new configuration that nets Republicans four more additional seats. In Ohio, it could help the GOP win between one and three more districts. And nationwide, a dozen other states have active litigation that could shift their balance of power too.
“The cumulative effect of all these fights is significant, and I think could be the determining factor for control of the House following the 2024 elections,” said Marina Jenkins, who was recently named the executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the party’s mapmaking power center. [Continue reading…]