North Carolina Gerrymander Is Struck Down

Republican state senators in North Carolina review state maps while drawing new congressional districts on Feb. 16, 2016.Corey Lowenstein/AP

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A couple of months ago a state court in North Carolina struck down the legislature’s gerrymandered maps for state legislative districts. Today the same court struck down the maps for congressional districts.

(Why a state court? Because the Supreme Court ruled a while back that federal courts shouldn’t get involved in partisan gerrymandering cases. State courts, however, still have jurisdiction.)

This is good news since the North Carolina case is something of a destruction test for gerrymandering decisions. The behavior of the North Carolina legislature has been almost literally beyond belief: First they gerrymandered based on racial classifications, and after that was struck down they generated a nearly identical map but carefully made sure race was never mentioned in the legislative record. Even then, though, they were so greedy that they created a map that almost literally made it impossible for Democrats to ever win a majority no matter how the vote went.

If a map like that can’t be overturned, then pretty much no map can ever be overturned. This means that judicial review of gerrymandered maps may be hanging on by only a thread, but at least it’s still hanging on. More here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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