North Carolina ordered to redraw congressional districts
Federal judges ruled late Tuesday that North Carolina’s congressional districts are illegally gerrymandered and must be redrawn. The three-judge panel said the districts, determined by Republicans in the state legislature, are excessively partisan and give the GOP an advantage for most of its seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Districts were redrawn in 2016 after another panel tossed out two majority-black congressional districts for racial gerrymandering. “We find that the General Assembly drew and enacted the 2016 plan with intent to subordinate the interests of non-Republican voters and entrench Republican control of North Carolina's congressional delegation,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jim Wynn wrote in the majority opinion, adding that the evidence shows the “plan achieved the General Assembly’s discriminatory partisan objective.” The judges ordered the North Carolina General Assembly to approve another set of districts by Jan. 24, just weeks before the Feb. 12 filing deadline for November’s congressional elections. But Republican lawmakers insist the districts were drawn lawfully. The lawmakers plan to appeal the ruling, according to a spokesperson for Senate Redistricting Committee Chairman Ralph Hise. They could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block enforcement of the federal ruling until the high court rules in a similar case from Wisconsin heard last fall.
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