RALEIGH – NC Republican leaders haven’t been shy about sharing their views on the court cases challenging their unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, issuing over-the-top statements to intimidate judges and taking to social media to argue that, no, their maps aren’t racist, that’s just how things are.
Yet, with a federally appointed special master reviewing and likely redrawing several districts that are still unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered, NC’s vocal Republican majority is all of a sudden silent.
It’s been 48 hours since the courts ordered the special master to begin his review. Why are Speaker Moore, Senate Leader Berger, Gerrymandering Chairs Lewis and Hise, and NC GOP chair Robin Hayes suddenly (and uncharacteristically) mum?
Perhaps it’s because, as Majority Leader Bell recently said to a room full of GOP donors:
“I feel like we’re probably going to lose our case on redistricting.”
Behind closed doors, in a room full of their donors, GOP leaders readily admit their arguments don’t stand up to the littlest bit of scrutiny and that their defense of their racist maps doesn’t hold water. They’ve known since they first released their maps in 2010 that they unconstitutionally divided people by race to gerrymander themselves into power.
Beyond that, Speaker Moore and Leader Berger have another reason to be silent – this is a monumental political failure of their own making.
When given by the courts more than enough time and ample opportunity to fix their racist maps, they doubled down and kept their racial gerrymander. Because of their political miscalculation, the courts are rightfully moving ahead with redrawing the maps for them.
“Republicans have known their maps are racist all along, and behind closed doors, they freely admit that they know their arguments don’t hold water,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Republican leaders are silent because they can’t defend their racist maps, and because Speaker Moore and Senator Berger played their hand so poorly that now the courts are stepping in.”