At a heated hearing on Monday, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina made a last-minute plea to keep in place two congressional districts that were recently struck down by a federal court for racial gerrymandering.
Lawmakers, who spoke to voters at five locations throughout the state via teleconference, said that they would do everything possible to see that the current districts — which must be redrawn by Friday — remained in place. But an appeal to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for a stay has become uncertain because lawmakers were counting on the support of recently-deceased conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, The News & Observer reported.
“This is the way it’s been,” former GOP Rep. Robin Hayes opined from the video conference in Mecklenburg County. “If you’re in the majority after census, you draw the maps.”
But other voters at the meeting demanded that the state’s long history of gerrymandering come to an end.
“Gerrymandering by any stretch of the imagination is immoral, unethical, dishonest,” speaker Harry Taylor told WMYT.
Vanderbilt University Law School’s Kareem Crayton, an election law specialist, told The Charlotte Observer that lawmakers’ hopes to overturn the federal court’s ruling was dashed by the death of Scalia.
“Bottom line: It appears the proverbial bill for this prolonged and delayed legal fight has now come due for the General Assembly,” Crayton explained. “The short timeline makes it now pretty certain that they will have to draw a map that helps set things right.”
At the hearing on Monday, Democratic state Senate Leader Dan Blue pointed out that Republicans should have started drawing new districts when the court struck down the existing districts on Feb. 5.
“This is all theater,” Blue charged.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D) agreed that the Legislature had created the problem by intentionally using race to gerrymander the districts and then waiting to the last minute to address the problem.
“It’s my opinion you were fully aware that you were incorrectly applying the law,” Butterfield said on Monday. “In a disingenuous way you used a flawed interpretation of the Voting Rights Act for your own partisan political advantage.”
Watch the video below from WMYT, broadcast Feb. 16, 2016.
Nevada GOP activist reveals how he ‘caucused for Bernie’ to help Trump win: ‘It would be a dream election’
Conservative activist Chuck Muth said that he temporarily switched parties to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses.
Muth, who spoke to the Las Vegas Journal-Review while wearing a red Keep America Great hat, explained that he had crossed over to “vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats.”
“It was kind of a way of demonstrating how absurd I think it is to have same-day registration as well as early voting for a caucus,” Muth explained. “So my wife and I last Sunday went to an early voting site, we changed parties right there on the spot. We caucused for Bernie.”
‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.
As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.
Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."
Lindsey Graham promises Fox viewers a new investigation into Andrew McCabe despite the Justice Dept clearing him
Appearing on the Fox Business channel with host Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promised viewers he fully intends to use his position as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee to launch his own investigation into former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe despite the former law enforcement official already having been cleared by the Justice Department.
Complaining that the controversial Steele dossier was based on " a bunch of bar-talk and hearsay," Graham said he plans to call -- at the very least -- McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey in to be grilled by his committee.