In February 2016, then N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho and Rep. David Lewis held the first public hearing of the newly formed Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting. Earlier that month, a federal court had struck down North Carolina’s congressional map because of racial gerrymandering, and the committee was tasked with redrawing the districts. To that end, the public was invited to submit comments on the process.
You might have been skeptical then that the Republicans who controlled the committee were interested in hearing what members of the public – or even the opposition party – had to say. Now, thanks to a federal ruling on the maps that committee produced, we know just how much of a sham it was.