Three judges rule for democracy in North Carolina's congressional districts

Three judges rule for democracy in North Carolina's congressional districts

Three judges rule for democracy in North Carolina's congressional districts

They will likely reach out to the U.S. Supreme Court to interfere by blocking the enforcement of the ruling until they come to a decision on a similar case out of Wisconsin involving partisan gerrymandering.

The opinion is the first federal court ruling to strike down a congressional map as representing a partisan gerrymander.

In strong and unequivocal terms, a panel of federal judges named to the bench by Democrats and Republicans, has said the back-room scheming to impose unfair congressional district lines is unconstitutional.

The district court, which took months to issue an opinion in the case, gave the state just two weeks to redraw the map while the filing period for primary elections begins February 12, the lawmakers state in the application.

"Prohibiting the State from using the duly enacted districting map that governed its last election cycle on the eve of the commencement of the 2018 election cycle is not just practically disruptive, but represents a grave and irreparable sovereign injury", they wrote. "However, the 2011 Pennsylvania Congressional districts map has been determined to be constitutional by both Federal and State judges, which serves to further strengthen my view that the plaintiffs should abandon their costly legal actions and allow the Legislature's examination of reforms to move forward." .

Common Cause and the League of Women Voters argued that the plan violated the Equal Protection Clause because it discriminated against non-Republican voters. "For the last dozen or so years, there weren't a lot of these cases".

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

"Why do we have a supermajority of Republicans in our state legislature and why do we have 10 members of Congress who are Republican and three who are Democratic?" said Cooper, a Democrat, on CNN's "New Day".

"Simply put, after taking months to issue an opinion adopting multiple entirely novel theories of partisan gerrymandering, the three-judge court has given the General Assembly just two weeks to draw a third congressional map, which is sufficiently unlikely to pass the court's muster that the court has already chose to have a special master draw a competing map", Strach said in his court filing.

If a new map is not put in place by January 24, a special expert will be assigned to draw the districts.

The Supreme Court already heard arguments in one partisan gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin. You'd think that Democrats should have won at least six of the state's 13 seats in the U.S. House. "But a stay is all the more appropriate because this Court is presently considering two partisan gerrymandering cases". The motion states the ruling in the Wisconsin case would likely affect North Carolina's case as well.

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.

State Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse said the districts "are fair and were drawn following all known rules, and existing case law". Absentee voting for the May primary begins on March 19. "Who knows what might happen".

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