by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“It’s called the snake — a long, skinny congressional district drawn along I-85 to segregate African-American voters. The snake, and others like it, were drawn by state legislators as a partisan power grab.”
That’s the script from the first half of a new television ad running in North Carolina. And it’s true.
Unfortunately, the rest of the ad is false. The rest of the ad suggests that Republicans drew the “snake” and that N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds helped them get away with it.
But the “snake” first surfaced in North Carolina elections in 1992. Democratic legislators drew it in an attempt to maintain Democrats’ majority within North Carolina’s congressional delegation. Bob Edmunds did not sit on the N.C. Supreme Court at the time.
But state and federal courts did approve the snake for 1992 and for every other election through 2014, including the elections that followed election redistricting in 2000 (by Democrats) and 2010 (by Republicans).