Judges Strike Down North Carolina Congressional Map Over Gerrymandering

A federal appeals court panel struck down this NC Congressional district map adopted in 2016 on Jan. 9 2018

A federal appeals court panel struck down this NC Congressional district map adopted in 2016 on Jan. 9 2018

According to attorney Allison Riggs, the ruling is the first time federal judges have struck down congressional districts as partisan gerrymanders.

It would effectively stop the two week clock the federal judges gave the legislature to redraw all of North Carolina's congressional districts.

The deadline is important because candidates for the November congressional elections begin filing for the primaries on February 12.

U.S. Presidential election electoral map.

They request a ruling from the highest court by January 22. Voters are shifted into districts where their votes won't matter, either because their party's candidate can't win or is already sure to win.

#BREAKING: A federal court unanimously ruled that North Carolina's congressional districts are an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

North Carolina is so narrowly and deeply divided that, last November, voters ousted a conservative governor in favor of Democrat Roy Cooper - but elected a Republican lieutenant governor as his partner. The groups argued free speech rights were violated because the plan discriminated against voters based on previous political expression.

They contend that the decision is "all the more problematic because it will inevitably interfere with North Carolina's congressional election cycle".

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At hearings a year ago in a Greensboro courtroom, the challengers called mathematicians and other experts to elaborate on statistical models built to highlight the efficiency gap.

North Carolina Republicans, well aware that, before Tuesday, no federal court had ever invalidated an entire congressional map for partisan gerrymandering, never bothered to mask their intent.

In an effort to make it clear that race had not been considered in the drawing of the 2016 maps, Lewis made a comment that provided the underpinnings for the partisan gerrymander case. It also ordered that lawmakers redraw the map within two weeks and stated that it intends to appoint a special master to draw an alternate in case their plan does not pass muster.

And that tight timeline plays a prominent role in this emergency motion.

A different three-judge panel that also includes Wynn is considering state House and state Senatedistricts.

While courts have found that gerrymandering on a racial basis is clearly unconstitutional, they had yet to rule definitively on whether partisanship alone could yield unconstitutional voting maps.

New maps were drawn after that and new elections held. The primaries and candidate filing period was pushed back but the election, more or less, ran without any redistricting chaos. "Who knows what might happen".

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