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North Carolina congressional map ruled unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering


WestVirginiaRebel

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WestVirginiaRebel
north-carolina-congressional-map-ruled-unconstitutional-due-to-partisan-gerrymandering

A three-judge appellate panel of federal judges ruled that North Carolina Republicans unconstitutionally gerrymandered a congressional map to unfairly sway elections in their favor.

In a partially split decision, the judges — Obama appointee James A. Wynn, Jimmy Carter appointee William Earl Britt, and George W. Bush appointee  William L. Osteen Jr. ruled that the map was unconstitutional.

Osteen concurred with Wynn and Britt that the gerrymandered districts violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the First Amendment but dissented claims that it violates Article I of the Constitution. The judges imposed a Jan. 24 deadline for a redrawing of the congressional map and barred U.S. House elections in North Carolina until legislators provide a satisfactory map.

The ruling marks the first time a federal court has struck down a congressional map on the grounds of gerrymandering, which involves the tactical partisan redrawing of district lines in order to maximize the number of House seats held by one party.

Previous Supreme Court rulings that have struck down congressional districts, like the May 2017 decision in Cooper v. Harris, concerned gerrymandering along racial lines.

In a 191-page opinion,Wynn, who wrote for the majority, said that North Carolina’s Republican-dominated General Assembly had been “motivated by invidious partisan intent” by deliberately manipulating the boundaries of the North Carolina congressional map to allow for Republicans to win 10 of the state’s 13 districts.

“Partisan gerrymandering runs contrary to numerous fundamental democratic principles and individual rights,” Wynn added.

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