Lawsuit alleges excessive partisanship in NC district maps

Lawsuit alleges excessive partisanship in NC district maps

A new lawsuit in North Carolina alleges that the state's legislative maps are excessively partisan in favor of Republicans.

Watchdog group Common Cause of North Carolina and the the North Carolina Democratic Party sued GOP mapmakers on Tuesday, accusing them of partisan gerrymandering, according to multiple news reports.

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The lawsuit is the eighth one to challenge North Carolina's district maps for partisan favoritism, the Associated Press reported.

"In both the state House and state Senate elections in 2018, Democratic candidates won a majority of the statewide vote, but Republicans still won a substantial majority of seats in each chamber," Common Cause said in a statement Tuesday. "As drawn, there is no conceivable way for Democrats to win a majority in either chamber."

The two groups say the redistricting plans violate the state's constitution. 

Republicans in North Carolina's General Assembly in 2017 were ordered to redraw maps for the state legislature after two judges ruled that the old maps were racially gerrymandered. Republicans have appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judges in that case described North Carolina as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, the News & Observer reported at the time.

Common Cause and the state's Democratic Party claim the new maps were drawn in order to disenfranchise Democrats.

The executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, Dallas Woodhouse, dismissed the lawsuit as a partisan power grab.

"Only North Carolina Democrats would file a lawsuit to overturn districts that they just won," Woodhouse said in a statement, according to WFAE.