NC Supreme Court Upholds GOP Redistricting Plan (Again)
The North Carolina Supreme Court has again upheld how Republican lawmakers redrew the state’s Congressional and legislative maps. The state’s highest court took a second look at the 2011 redistricting plan because of a U.S. Supreme Court order.
The argument is about whether Republican state lawmakers went too far in packing African-Americans into a few districts. Since they tend to vote Democratic, that meant the GOP had a better shot of winning the remaining districts.
The U.S. Supreme Court ordered North Carolina to reconsider that question in light of its ruling on an Alabama case this year. In that one, justices said lawmakers do not have to put a specific percentage of African-Americans into majority-minority districts.
In a 4-3 decision, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled the redistricting plan complies with the new guidance out of Alabama. Writing for the majority, Justice Paul Newby said North Carolina lawmakers didn’t increase percentages greater than necessary.
Justice Cheri Beasley wrote the dissent. She says that there’s evidence lawmakers used race to form numerical targets that could be unconstitutional, and that a trial court should take another look to be sure.
The plaintiffs say they’ll appeal.