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Redistricting In North Carolina: Congressional And State Legislative District Maps Under Scrutiny

The state's congressional district boundaries have since been redrawn, which has reshaped the 1st and 12th districts.
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Aired on Thursday, December 8, 2016

Some of North Carolina's political boundaries have come under scrutiny - this time, before the Supreme Court. We'll look at redistricting and political gerrymandering in the state.

In North Carolina, politicians are tasked with drawing the boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts. When those districts are redrawn to favor one political party over another, it's called gerrymandering. It's a political practice that's sometimes unpopular, but it's part of the job and politicians have been doing it ever since the founding of the country.

Some of the state's political boundaries have been called into question for another factor - race. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday over whether North Carolina lawmakers unconstitutionally relied on race when drawing the boundaries.

And a federal court recently ruled that the state's House and Senate districts must be redrawn and ordered a special election next year.

Guest host Dr. Michael Bitzer and his guests will take a closer look at gerrymandering in the state.

Guests

Michael Tomsic - WFAE Reporter

Dr. Charles Bullock - Richard B. Russell Chair in Political Science at the University of Georgia

Senator Jeff Jackson - Democratic State Senator for Mecklenburg County, (District 37).

Representative David Lewis - Republican State Representative for Harnett County (District 53) and Chairman of the House Redistricting Committee

Related Reading:

WFAE: 'If It's Politics, It's Fine.' U.S. Supreme Court Justices Question N.C. Redistricting
"The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the distinction between race and politics in North Carolina's redistricting process. The nation's highest court heard arguments Monday in a case that struck down two of North Carolina's congressional districts."

WRAL: Federal court orders new NC legislative elections in 2017
"North Carolina lawmakers must redraw their legislative districts by March 15 and hold new elections by the end of next year, a federal court ruled. That order follows up on a ruling from this summer that found lawmakers had unconstitutionally relied on race when they drew 28 state House and Senate districts."

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.