Federal judges rule N.C. redrawn congressional district map gives Republicans an advantage

Federal judges said Tuesday in a 191-page opinion that North Carolina will have to quickly redraw its 13 congressional districts because the map is unconstitutionally partisan. The three-judge panel rejected the previous map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.

The judges gave the stateĀ until Jan. 29 to file a new plan with the court so it will be in place before the 2018 midterms.
Ralph Hise, North Carolina’s state Senate redistricting chairman, released a statement that Republicans would appeal.
“This is a hostile takeover of the #NCGA and legislative bodies across the US,” Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina GOP tweeted. “It is incredibly disappointing activist Judge Jim Wynn is waging a personal, partisan war on North Carolina Republicans.”
The head of the state’s Democratic party applauded the decision.

“We’re enormously gratified on behalf of our clients and all voters in North Carolina that no one will have to endure another congressional election under an unconstitutional map,” said Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which represented some of the challengers. “The court was clear in demanding a real remedy before the 2018 elections, and we expect the General Assembly to respect that order.”

A short time frame for an approved congressional district man is necessary since November 2018 congressional elections candidates begin filing for the primaries on Feb. 12.