Editorials

Legislators rebuked yet again

The Observer editorial board

Sen. Bob Rucho
Sen. Bob Rucho

Shortly after Republicans took control of the General Assembly in the 2010 elections, Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County was put in charge of redrawing legislative and congressional districts.

“My goal is to draw fair and legal districts,” he told the Observer editorial board.

He failed. First, a federal appeals court panel threw out the congressional districts. Then, last week, a different federal appeals court panel threw out the legislative districts. Rucho and his colleagues are 0-for-2.

Actually, their record is worse than that, when you consider the trouble so many of their other laws have run into in the courts, from redistricting to voter ID to marriage equality.

The panel from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was too late to avoid using these legislative districts this November. So legislators will be elected from what turned out to be illegally racially gerrymandered districts for the third time in six years.

Democrats rigged the districts when they were in charge too. But with Republicans seemingly so concerned about the integrity of voting, is that a defense they can take pride in invoking?

Legislators should learn from their continual losses in the courts. With the Supreme Court divided 4-4, a Donald Trump presidency is probably the only way their unconstitutional work will survive judicial inspection.

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