The North Carolina Republican Party on Wednesday responded to Tuesday’s blistering court ruling declaring the state’s GOP-drawn congressional electoral map to be unconstitutional in three separate ways. Rather than apologize, though, state party chairman Robin Hayes wrote a ridiculous response claiming that you had to make a district look like a “monster” for it to be wrong.
Hayes’ statement reads:
The 2017 congressional map kept 87 of North Carolina’s 100 counties whole, and divides only 12 precincts, to achieve one person one vote. A “gerrymander” is by definition and common understanding, a strange looking “monster” drawing. This map is clearly not that. Judge Wynn is not being a judge, he is acting as a pundit by trying to impose his liberal beliefs instead of making a judicial ruling. Once again, unaccountable federal judges are attempting to throw North Carolina’s elections into chaos by adopting radical, untested new theories at the eleventh hour. This must be appealed.
In spite of Hayes’ assertion that a gerrymandered district is “by definition” one that looks like a “strange looking ‘monster’ drawing,” the actual Merriam-Webster’s dictionary entry defines defines the practice as simply :
[T]o divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible.
Nothing monstrous about it—except, of course, the deliberate effort to disenfranchise voters who might threaten one party’s officially unconstitutional attempt to remain in power. And as it happens, that’s exactly what the courts ruled was happening here.
The judges have demanded that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature redraw its congressional districts by Jan 24. A spokesperson for Republican State Senator Ralph Hise said that he and other GOP lawmakers will likely attempt to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.