House Delivers Contingent Congressional Map
Complies with Federal Trial Court’s Ruling
Today the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill that establishes a new Congressional map for 2016. Redistricting bills do not require the Governor’s signature; therefore, SB-2: 2016 Contingent Congressional Plan becomes law, subject to action by the U.S. Supreme Court. The measure passed 65-43.
While the State still maintains that the current map is constitutional and hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will still issue a stay, this bill is a necessary component to the contingency plans.
The new Congressional map is compact and splits fewer counties and precincts than in recent history. In the past, North Carolina has seen up to 40 counties and 68 precincts split, while the new Congressional map only splits 13 counties and 12 precincts.
The Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting adopted criteria after public comment and debate that gave directive on how the maps were to be drawn. These criteria were harmonized to produce the 2016 Contingent Congressional map. During debate, the Committee rejected using race as criteria and addressed public calls to eliminate the “serpentine” shaped 12th district that the State has seen since 1992.
“We recognize that this condensed timeline – mandated by the federal trial court – has been frustrating and confusing for the people of North Carolina, but we are pleased that we were able to make this process as transparent and open to public comment as possible,” said Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett). Lewis serves as Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting and led redrawing efforts for the House. “This map – the only one put forward for consideration – is practicable, fair, and respectfully complies with court order. We still remain hopefully optimistic that the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a stay soon to help avoid all confusion and the cost of a stand-alone Congressional primary in June.”
This law will become null and void if the U.S. Supreme Court issues a stay.
For an interesting look back at the history of redistricting in North Carolina and the events that led to today’s vote, be sure to read this article from Susan Myrick.