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US Supreme Court Will Hear NC Redistricting Case

The Supreme Court ruled the 12th (orange) and 1st (yellow) districts were illegal because race played too large a role in their creation.
The serpentine 1st and 12th congressional districts.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over racial gerrymandering in North Carolina. The justices announced Monday they'll review a lower court ruling that struck down the state's 2011 congressional redistricting plan.

In North Carolina, the party in power redraws voting districts after each census. A federal three-judge panel ruled in February that Republican lawmakers put too much emphasis on racial quotas in two of the new Congressional districts. The state redrew the whole congressional map and postponed primaries to this month.

The state also appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the justices need to settle this since the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the maps. The justices will now take the case and hear arguments as early as October.

This legal fight has practical implications for power in North Carolina. Before the 2011 redistricting, seven Democrats and six Republicans represented the state in the U.S. House. Since the changes, that's shifted to a 10-3 edge for Republicans, even though North Carolina is still highly competitive in presidential elections