If you want my quick-and-dirty summary of Common Cause v. Lewis, you can find it HERE. For a more detailed analysis, I suggest the North Carolina Common Cause version.
But in my deposition (VIDEO below), you'll get to hear all the background, including how I found the files, how they came to the attention of Common Cause, and how desperate the defendants were to prevent their admission as evidence solely on the grounds that they were devastating to their case.
You may have heard that in casual conversation I tend to meander. But in this deposition, I get to bust my chops in a more formal setting. Most importantly, I do my daddy proud, as during the cross (all but 45 minutes of the five-and-a-half hours, in total) it seemed that I could almost hear him whispering in my ear about how to confound opposing counsel when they're trying to compel discrediting testimony.
The co-mingling of my father's professional and personal life, resulting in the co-mingling of my personal life with his professional life,was not my doing. In an effort to do a better job than he did differentiating the two, I'm placing my personal commentary on the mash-up in my blog, rather than in the body of this website.
Nevertheless, the cross-examination in this deposition is quite a spectacle and quite entertaining, if you're not a Republican. Upon leaving the excruciatingly long deposition, I asked my attorney, Tom Sparks,
"I actually had fun giving that deposition. Does that mean there's something wrong with me?"
To which he responded,
And then we laughed. and went to have a late lunch and a beer.
Share in our glee, and check out the video below and the transcript, below that, if you'd rather read.
Common Cause v Rucho was the case against the voting district maps drawn by my father for the Federal House of Representatives, better known as "Congress". The lower courts sided with the plaintiffs, ruling that the maps were, indeed unconstitutional. The case eventually made its way to SCOTUS, along with Maryland Maps gerrymandered by Democrats. The question being whether or not partisan gerrymandering was a constitutionally prohibited violation of the natural rights of The People.
Although precedent dating back to the first time any federal court ruled on redistricting established that federal courts (including SCOTUS) had jurisdiction over the matter, SCOTUS, in 2019 ruled that they, in fact, did NOT have jurisdiction over the matter of partisan gerrymandering. This decision sent the matters of NC and MD gerrymandering back to the state supreme courts. Because the NC State Supreme Court had ruled in favor of The People (the voters) this represented a victory against partisan gerrymandering. But this victory was a hollow one, as now and into the future, voters in all states would no longer have standing to bring appeals to Federal District Courts or SCOTUS.
This ruling by a conservative SCOTUS (Trump's Justice, Date-Rape Kavanaugh being the latest appointee) was observed by some (including myself) as preparation for 2020 - 2030 redistricting.
Thanks to Operation "you ain't even seen red yet" Redmap, critical elections in State Legislatures (which control the redistricting process) were overall a landslide for the GOP in 2020.
In mid-November of 2018, Attorneys for Common Cause filed a new case, entirely separate from Common Cause v Rucho. The petition alleged that the redistricting of the state legislative voting districts represented a violation of the the North Carolina Constitution. Although that constitution prohibits partisan gerrymandering, the plaintiffs also alleged that the districts had been drawn using racial, not merely partisan gerrymandering.
This case was filed before Common Cause had any knowledge of the existence of The Hofeller Files.
After learning from me that I was in possession of these files, a subpoena was issued to me, my mother and Dalton Lamar "Dale" Oldham. Oddly, the legislative defendants made no motion to object to these subpoenas.
I responded to the subpoena, and delivered The Hofeller Files to attorneys for the plaintiffs. When these attorneys found data that had not been previously turned over in discoveries that called for them, they asked if I would be willing to be deposed for the purpose of authenticating the evidence.
On May 17th, in Raleigh, NC, I was deposed. Although the matter at hand was strictly for the purpose of authentication, attorneys for the defendants cross-examined me on matters including my political views, my father's funeral and the case against my mother's competence.
Nevertheless, the files were, eventually, authenticated.
A three judge panel decided for the plaintiffs. However, the matter of ownership and/or confidentiality of The Hofeller Files was severed from the case. See the update, below.
Final Order (Finally) - 18 CVS 14001 - 9/25/2020
At long last, the "severed matter" of The Hofeller Files got ruled upon. Yes, folks, I was right, although "only" 950 files got the axe, MY drives will NOT come back to me unaltered.
Good thing I made copies, huh! Nod to you, Dad. Once again, you were right...in everything but the moral sense.
As of Jan 21st, all but one of the drives are soon to be FedExed to my lawyer's office in Raleigh. The one remaining "with the vendor" needs to be rooted a bit harder. Stay tuned for details, The People!