Southern Coalition for Social Justice Analysis: Racial and partisan bias found in judicial redistricting plans
Southern Coalition for Social Justice released an analysis documenting some of the racial and partisan biases "infecting" the most recent judicial redistricting plan presented to the General Assembly in December 2017. Alison Riggs, SCJS's senior voting rights attorney described the key problem with the judicial districts, the "huge" variation in the number of residents per judge across the state.
"with a consistent pattern of too many people per judge in our urban areas will likely result in people of color disproportionately having less access to our justice system,” said Riggs.
SCSJ also found strong evidence of racial gerrymandering, specifically in Cumberland and Guilford counties where African-American residents appear to be packed into districts with fewer resources. According to the analysis, evidence of partisan gerrymandering exists as well. Republican judges would be expected to win 70 – 72% of Superior Court races.
Additionaly, SCSJ found that the "double-bunking" of incumbent judges exhibits a "highly discriminatory pattern." Of the 26 "double-bunked" Superior Court Judges, 19 are Democrats, or 73.08%, an overwhelming 73.08%, three are unaffiliated (11.54%), and three are Republicans (11.54%). Of the paired incumbents, 26.88% are non-white (African American and American Indian).