Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

North Carolina Congressional Districts Struck Down for 2018

North Carolina Congressional Districts Struck Down for 2018

In a similar case in Pennsylvania, a divided three-judge panel Wednesday rejected partisan gerrymandering claims involving the state's congressional districts.

A three-judge panel struck down North Carolina's congressional map this week, a decision that state Republicans vowed to challenge and could have long-term effects on the redistricting practice known as gerrymandering, election experts say.

Wynn, a Barack Obama appointee to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. District Judges W. Earl Britt. a Jimmy Carter appointee, and William L. Osteen Jr., a George W. Bush appointee - gave the lawmakers until January 24 to adopt new maps, which are to be turned in to the court with a record of any hearings by January 29. This date is crucial as filing for candidates in the November congressional election begin on February 12 with the primaries set for May.

It's been alternating Republican and Democratic governors, is represented in the U.S. Senate by a member of each party and voted for each of the last two presidents - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Donald Trump. The ruling marks the second time in ten years that a three-judge panel has thrown out the congressional boundaries drawn by the GOP in the state. That case points to the "efficiency gap", a theory that gerrymanders force the disadvantaged party to "waste" votes.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to block enforcement of an order throwing out the state's congressional map because the lines were too partisan and directing a redraw nearly immediately.

In the state's 2011 redistricting plan, voters claim Democratic state officials meant to dilute the votes of Republicans in the state's 6th Congressional District who supported the Republican incumbent, then-Rep. The groups argued free speech rights were violated because the plan discriminated against voters based on previous political expression.

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

The Supreme Court already heard arguments in one partisan gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin.

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.

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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.

Basically, their ruling says congressional districts as drawn violated the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause because they were created to favor Republicans over Democrats.

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

As long as there are five justices on the Supreme Court who believe partisan gerrymandering can be unconstitutional, she said there's no way North Carolina's plans could be considered constitutional.

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