State Watch

North Carolina high court allows GOP-drawn political maps to stand

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A three-judge panel in North Carolina ruled that the state’s new GOP-drawn district map can proceed, finding that it does not violate the state’s constitution.

According to the Raleigh-based News & Observer, the panel — comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat — acknowledged that the map would give the Republican Party an advantage in future elections but ruled that redistricting is inherently political.

“Redistricting and the political considerations that are part of that process do not impinge on the right to vote,” wrote the panel. “Nothing about redistricting affects a person’s right to cast a vote.”

North Carolina Democrats have accused the map of being heavily gerrymandered.

A lawsuit challenging the new political districts delayed candidate filings and party primaries in North Carolina. This lawsuit — filed by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters — was one of several challenging the new map, which would create two new Republican-leaning districts and do away with two Democrat-leaning ones.

Last month, the North Carolina Supreme Court delayed primary elections by two months until May due to the ongoing litigation over the map.

“While this ruling is disappointing, all signs ultimately point to the N.C. Supreme Court resolving this case,” said Hilary Harris Klein, an attorney representing a group challenging the redistricted map.

“We remain confident that our conclusive evidence of partisan bias, obfuscation, and attacks on Black representation, from expert testimony to the mapmakers’ own admissions, will convince the state’s highest court to protect voters from nefarious efforts to entrench partisan power at the expense of free elections and fair representation,” Klein said.

Tags census redistricting Gerrymandering North Carolina Redistricting

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