The Department of Justice has given its blessing to North Carolina’s new congressional map, over objections from Democrats and other groups who said the map disenfranchised black voters.
While the map could still be challenged in court, that will be made much more difficult now that the federal government has approved the map.
“The Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the specified changes,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.
States with a history of discriminating against minorities must have new maps pre-cleared by the Justice Department during the once-per-decade redistricting process, according to the Voting Rights Act.
While the Justice Department was charged only with clearing the map on racial discrimination matters, the map is under heightened scrutiny after it became clear on Tuesday that a technical snafu had left some voters without an assigned district.
Changes in North Carolina’s map that would make some districts more competitive could lead to as many as four Republican pickups in the state.