Threats From Political Minority Rule in Wisconsin and North Carolina

Dec 07, 2023 | by
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The United States has been on a long arc toward achieving a multiracial democracy that can effectively represent all Americans, including long-marginalized communities. Yet opponents of a more pluralistic democracy are erecting barriers at the federal and state levels designed to lock in political minority rule and slow the nation's progress. At the state level, this aggressive countermajoritarian movement can be seen most starkly in Wisconsin and North Carolina. Despite the fact these two states are divided almost 50-50 politically, their Republican-controlled legislatures are taking unprecedented steps to draw extreme partisan legislative maps to lock in political power, limit long-held authorities of governors, pass voter suppression and election sabotage laws, and steer state supreme courts toward preferred results.

Breaking political norms to retrench political power is deeply unhealthy for the republic. However, structural reforms and other mechanisms can blunt these minority rule measures. These include banning partisan gerrymandering, establishing an affirmative legal right to vote, enacting nationwide federal standards that expand access to the ballot and thwart partisan election subversion, passing statewide ballot initiatives where that option exists, and creating a nonpartisan movement to help counter anti-democracy power grabs.

Threats From Political Minority Rule in Wisconsin and North Carolina