by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
Many are probably familiar with the ads targeting North Carolina’s latest redistricting case, known as the Harper vs. Hall case, over the last few weeks. ‘RepresentUS’ has been continuously airing ads calling for the North Carolina Supreme Court to rule against North Carolina’s newly enacted legislative and congressional maps. While this new trend of interest groups running public relations campaigns aimed at influencing the courts is concerning, the ties RepresentUS has with other groups involved in the redistricting process is equally concerning.
RepresentUS partnered with the Princeton Gerrymandering Project (PGP) on one of the key pieces of evidence for the plaintiffs in the case. They worked together to grade states’ legislative and congressional maps in this year’s “Redistricting Report Card“, giving North Carolina all F’s under their criteria.
John Locke’s Andy Jackson has discussed how the Redistricting Report Card’s grading scale is weighted towards Democrats, applying more weight to their “aspirational view of fairness” than to objective measures. PGP has recently shown further evidence of bias toward Democrats in the recent New Jersey redistricting process, actively helping Democrats draw maps that would advantage them, and refusing to make public their full methodology.