Headline Roundup: NC Supreme Court Upholds District Boundaries; More
The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional districts drawn be Republicans three years ago. Those lines helped the GOP strengthen its grip on legislative seats.
A majority ruled today that a three-judge panel was correct last year to determine the lines were lawful under the state and federal constitutions. Two justices disagreed. The decision comes a year after the Supreme Court heard the argument and three years since North Carolina approved the maps.
U.S. Justice Department attorneys signed off on the maps, but election and civil rights advocacy groups and Democratic voters sued. They argued the boundaries are racial gerrymanders that cluster black voters in districts to benefit Republicans.
Plaintiffs plan to seek review by the United States Supreme Court as soon as possible so that there will be time fore new redistricting plans to be drawn before the 2016 elections.
Doctors At Public Meeting Urge Science, Not Politics Shape Rules For Abortion Clinics
Doctors speaking at a public meeting urged North Carolina officials to focus on science and not politics as they update rules for abortion clinics. The state Department of Health and Human Services is conducting the meeting in Raleigh. It's part of a public comment period that runs through January. The state health department released the rules two weeks ago, roughly a year and a half after Republican state lawmakers passed new abortion regulations. The health department consulted Planned Parenthood in developing the rules.
Officials for Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina have offered cautious praise for the rules, but say they're still studying them.