North Carolina Congressional Map Dominated 'An Unconstitutional Partisan Gerrymander'

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On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges ruled that in 2016, the Republican-led General Assembly in North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state's 13 congressional districts to ensure their party's "domination of the state's congressional delegation".

The judges gave the state about three weeks to file a new plan with the court so it will be in place before the 2018 midterms.

The filing period for candidates in the 2018 elections in North Carolina is set to open February 12.

This ruling puts uncertainty on the state's 2018 election for U.S. Senate seats.

In a similar case in Pennsylvania, a divided three-judge panel Wednesday rejected partisan gerrymandering claims involving the state's congressional districts. Voters are shifted into districts where their votes won't matter, either because their party's candidate can't win or is already sure to win.

Although the federal ruling is a win for Democrats, many Republicans have broken with their party over gerrymandering.

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.

Bob Phillips of Common Cause disagrees with Woodhouse. The groups argued free speech rights were violated because the plan discriminated against voters based on previous political expression.

The main question in the case, which was tried last month, was legal: Is that kind of mapmaking permissible? This marks the first time that a federal court has overturned congressional district maps because of partisan gerrymandering.

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The line got a laugh, but it was considered proof that the gerrymandering was intended.

When the legislature passed the plan, state Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said the maps were drawn to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats because it wasn't "possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats".

In the majority opinion, Judge James Wynn, who sits on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, said the state's General Assembly "enacted the plan with the intent of discriminating against voters who favored non-Republican candidates" and ordered a new map be drawn by 5 p.m. on January 24.

Courts have found in the past that it's wrong to make maps to limit the voices of racial minorities.

"It remains my belief that these cases should have been stayed, pending the Wisconsin case decision by the US Supreme Court".

The ruling came a day after a unanimous judicial panel threw out North Carolina's congressional map, finding it went too far to help Republicans.

Several times over the past three decades, primary elections were delayed either in whole or in part for district maps that had to be redrawn.

New maps were drawn after that and new elections held.

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 primaries and candidate filing period was pushed back but the election, more or less, ran without any redistricting chaos. "Who knows what might happen".

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