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Charlotte Talks: Supreme Court Faced Again With Thorny Gerrymandering Decision

Matt Wade
Wikimedia Commons

Monday, March 25, 2019

The fate of partisan gerrymandering is once again in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which is hearing a challenge to North Carolina's congressional map. Mike Collins previews Tuesday's arguments and what the court's decision could mean for the political landscape, both in North Carolina and nationwide.

The hearing comes fourteen months after federal judges in Greensboro issued a landmark ruling on partisan gerrymandering that North Carolina’s Republican legislature violated the U.S. Constitution in drawing a congressional map that gave Republicans a 10-3 advantage over Democrats.

The Supreme Court has held that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional and, in fact, struck down North Carolina’s General Assembly districts on those grounds in 2017. But the justices last summer sidestepped the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. The North Carolina case and one out of Maryland that is also being argued this month could settle the debate.

What happens in North Carolina and across the country if partisan gerrymandering is ruled unconstitutional? What happens if the justices say it’s OK?


Dr. Michael Bitzer, Catawba College, Department of Politics chair; author of the "Old North State Politics" blog (@BowTiePolitics)

Michael Li, senior counsel, Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program (@mcpli)