DURHAM, N.C. – The plaintiffs in Covington v. North Carolina submitted alternative redistricting plans earlier today to the legislative committees in charge of the redistricting process. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also submitted a letter to members of the House and Senate committees, outlining problems with the legislature’s proposed redistricting plan and pointing out the constitutional violations that exist in the maps.
“The maps put forth by our clients achieve several key objectives that are not found in the extremely partisan maps offered by legislative leaders,” said Anita Earls, Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and lead attorney for plaintiffs in the Covington case. “Based on our initial analysis, the legislature’s proposed redistricting plans do not offer an adequate remedy to the racial gerrymandering in some areas of the state and contain other flaws that violate the state and federal constitutions.”
For example, as Plaintiff Julien Pridgen testified yesterday at the public hearing in Raleigh, the House redistricting plan released by legislative leaders unnecessarily redraws the lines of at least five districts that were not considered racial gerrymanders by the federal court and do not touch one of the unconstitutional districts. Those districts, which were redrawn in violation of the state constitution, are House Districts 36, 37, 40 and 41 in Wake County and House District 105 in Mecklenburg County.
“It is entirely possible to draw remedial districts that fully comply with the North Carolina state constitution and do not create unconstitutional partisan or racial gerrymanders,” Earls said. “We’ve offered one such alternative to legislators.”
The letter sent to members of the Senate Committee on Redistricting and House Select Committee on Redistricting outlining the problems with the proposed legislative maps and offering alternatives is posted at http://bit.ly/CovingtonLetter.
A PDF of the House map offered by the Covington plaintiffs is at http://bit.ly/CovingtonHousePlan
A PDF of the Senate map offered by the Covington plaintiffs is at http://bit.ly/CovingtonSenatePlan
Data files for the maps offered by the Covington plaintiffs are being prepared and will be uploaded to http://www.southerncoalition.org/covingtondata/ as they are ready.