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Charlotte Talks: North Carolina Redistricting Fight Unfolds In Court

North Carolina Legislative building

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

North Carolina legislators are preparing to redraw voting districts because the U.S. Supreme Court says they were illegally racially gerrymandered.  Mike Collins looks into how the state drew the scrutiny of the courts.

2017 has been a year in which political redistricting has received plenty of attention from the U.S. Supreme Court, as North Carolina lawmakers know all too well. The culmination of this focus will be a hearing this fall with a case from Wisconsin on whether drawing political boundaries to favor one party over another is unconstitutional. 

In the meantime, the North Carolina legislature has begun work on Supreme Court-ordered re-redistricting on 28 General Assembly districts that were declared illegal racial gerrymanders.

That work was criticized by federal judges as too slow, and on Monday ordered lawmakers to submit new maps by Sept. 1. The judges, however, did not mandate special elections for the new districts this year. Separately, congressional districts have also been struck down by for their racial makeup. 

How did redistricting become such a hot button for the high court? And how did North Carolina end up in the court’s spotlight?


Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of political science, Catawba College (@BowTiePolitics)

Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst, John Locke Foundation (@mitchkokai)

Michael Li, senior counsel. Brennan Center for Justice (@mcpli)