These state supreme courts could help Republicans 'more than double' their House majority: report

These state supreme courts could help Republicans 'more than double' their House majority: report

On Tuesday, March 14, the North Carolina Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case that involves a gerrymandered Republican map of U.S. House of Representatives districts in that state. Previously, the NC Court agreed with Democrats and struck down that map as unconstitutional. But now that more Republicans are on the Court, it is revisiting the case.

In an article published by Politico on March 14, journalists Zach Montellaro and Ally Mutnick emphasize that if the North Carolina case — along with a gerrymandering-related case in Ohio — goes the way Republicans are hoping it will, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) could end up with a larger majority in the future.

"Republicans are readying to plow ahead with ambitious gerrymandering despite previous reprimands from state courts — now that they've elected judges who are less likely to thwart their plans," Montellaro and Mutnick report. "The first test of this strategy comes Tuesday when North Carolina's GOP-dominated state supreme court will hear arguments on whether its previous Democratic majority erred in tossing out the initial map Republican legislators drew just two years ago. The move has drawn loud complaints from Democrats that the Court only granted a redo now that the partisan balance has changed."

READ MORE:Conservative donors are funneling 'dark money' toward a SCOTUS case that could drastically alter US voting laws

The journalists continue, "Between that and a similar remap looming in Ohio — where the state Supreme Court has also taken a lurch to the right since throwing out multiple GOP maps before the last election — Republicans could more than double their five-seat House majority through redistricting alone. That would give Speaker Kevin McCarthy a much-needed cushion in 2024."

Republicans were hoping that the 2022 midterms would see a major red wave like the ones they enjoyed in 1994 under President Bill Clinton and in 2010 under President Barack Obama. But the 30-seat or 40-seat U.S. House majority that Republicans were hoping to obtain in 2022 didn't materialize. Democrats slightly increased their effective majority in the U.S. Senate, and Republicans flipped the House by only five seats.

That narrow majority doesn't give McCarthy much wiggle room. For example, McCarthy has been reluctant to criticize Rep. George Santos, the scandal-plagued Queens/Long Island Republican who has embarrassed his party by telling one lie after another during his 2022 campaign. Some Republicans are calling for Santos' resignation, but if that seat were to end up in Democratic hands in a special election, that would be bad news for McCarthy.

Montellaro and Mutnick observe, “Party operatives believe a favorable ruling in North Carolina could clear the way for a new configuration that nets Republicans four more additional seats. In Ohio, it could help the GOP win between one and three more districts. And nationwide, a dozen other states have active litigation that could shift their balance of power too."

READ MORE:Why the NC Supreme Court decision to rehear 2 recent voting rights cases is 'an exercise of raw partisanship'

Read Politico's full report at this link.

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