Redistricting North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a partisan gerrymandering trial beginning in North Carolina state court (all times local):
A Democratic voter has testified that a gerrymandering lawsuit against North Carolina lawmakers is "trying to unrig a rigged process."
The first day of the partisan gerrymandering trial concluded Monday with Derrick Miller of Wilmington taking the stand. Miller is one of the plaintiffs.
Also, four former North Carolina governors released a statement supporting the lawsuit.
Miller said the redistricting process has made it impossible for anybody other than Republicans to control the state House and Senate. Miller acknowledged he's been able to vote to elect a Democrat to the House by a comfortable margin but says gerrymandering makes surrounding districts extremely Republican.
Former Democratic Govs. Jim Hunt, Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue and Republican ex-Gov. Jim Martin blamed partisan gerrymandering for breaking the system of checks and balances no matter which party controls the majority.
Election advocacy groups and Democrats are arguing in state court that North Carolina Republicans unlawfully discriminated against voters based on political leanings when they drew legislative maps to preserve GOP majorities
Lawyers for Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and registered voters pitched their arguments at Monday's start of a partisan gerrymandering trial. It begins weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it's not the job of federal courts to decide if boundaries are politically unfair.
But plaintiffs' attorney Stanton Jones told the judges that doesn't mean state courts should "sit idly by while people's constitutional rights are being violated." His clients want new maps drawn for 2020.
The Republicans' chief attorney says Democrats are simply asking courts to use "raw political power" to take redistricting responsibilities from the legislature.