Partisan Gerrymandering

Despite Critiques, NC Legislature On Pace To Remap On Time

12 hours ago
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

RALEIGH — Facing a deadline this week, the North Carolina legislature stayed on track to enact replacement districts for dozens of its seats on time, even as citizens critiqued the maps in a public meeting.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

RALEIGH — New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline.

MICHAEL TOMSIC/FILE / WFAE

A three-judge panel in Raleigh on Tuesday unanimously ruled that North Carolina’s House and Senate maps were drawn to maximize Republicans' power and are unconstitutional.

North Carolina Trial On Partisan Gerrymandering Concludes

Jul 27, 2019
The 2016 North Carolina congressional districts map.
ncleg.net

RALEIGH — A trial that concluded Friday leaves state judges to decide whether they can identify when politicians go too far in drawing voting districts to their advantage, a judgment the U.S. Supreme Court refused to make.

Steve Harrison/WFAE

Updated 10 a.m. July 16 

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina’s Congressional map was a political gerrymander – but justices said that did not violate the Constitution, and they refused to overturn the map. Now, a second challenge to political mapmaking in North Carolina is underway – this time over the state’s legislative maps.  

GOP Mapmaker Tom Hofeller speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2001.
C-Span

 A few dozen computer files recovered from the home of a deceased Republican redistricting consultant can be offered as evidence in next week's partisan gerrymandering trial in North Carolina, state judges ruled on Friday.

Supreme Court building
Mark Thomas / Pixabay

In challenging North Carolina’s congressional map, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters pinned their hopes on what North Carolina state Rep. David Lewis said three years ago.

The 2016 North Carolina congressional districts map.
ncleg.net

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a North Carolina gerrymandering case that could determine how far state legislatures can draw maps to maximize one political party’s advantage over another.

A bipartisan group of North Carolina legislators said Wednesday they will file a bill to create an 11-member independent body to draw the state’s Congressional and state legislative maps.

The Supreme Court is plunging back into the issue of whether electoral districts can be too partisan.

Disputes have arisen in cases involving North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional map and a Democratic congressional district in Maryland, and the justices said Friday they will hear arguments in March.

North Carolina General Assembly

Two experts on redistricting said that democracy isn’t working because of gerrymandering - and that voters already know how to fix it.

“There really is a sense among a lot of people that the system is broken in some really fundamental ways, and redistricting is a big part of that,” said Michael Li, senior counsel at Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

Mark Harris For Congress / Dan McCready For Congress

Myers Park is Dan McCready's home neighborhood, and his blue yard signs are a common sight on its front lawns. But after a dramatic ruling Monday by a three-judge panel that found the state's Congressional map unconstitutional, North Carolina's fall election schedule could be overturned. 

State Board of Elections Halts Ballot Preparation

Aug 29, 2018
NC Board of Ethics and Enforcement
North Carolina State Board of Elections and Enforcement Facebook

The North Carolina Board of Elections said Wednesday it has stopped work on preparing ballots for the Nov. 6 general election after back-to-back judicial rulings this week questioned whether the election can proceed as planned.

The Conversation: 9 Essential Reads On The Supreme Court And Gerrymandering

Jun 20, 2018

On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court kicked a closely watched case on gerrymandering back to the lower court.

Gerrymandering – where states are carved up into oddly shaped electoral districts favoring one political party over another – has ignited debates in a number of states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two closely watched gerrymandering cases Monday but sidestepped the main issue — whether it's illegal to draw districts to give an unfair advantage to one party.  Experts say the issues could be more clear cut in a North Carolina case pending before the court. Justices could announce as early as next week if they plan to hear the case this fall.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Updated 6:01 p.m.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings Monday in two gerrymandering cases, from Wisconsin and Maryland, that are being closely watched in North Carolina. But the rulings don't touch on the key issue, whether it's legal to redraw districts to give an unfair advantage to a political party.

NC General Assembly

A panel of federal judges has denied a request from Republican lawmakers to delay redrawing all of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Republican leaders of the General Assembly are officially asking a court to put a hold on the political gerrymandering decision handed down on Tuesday.

NC General Assembly

The headline of Tuesday's federal ruling is an eye-catching one: All 13 North Carolina congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders. The deadline was equally eye-catching. The judges gave lawmakers just two weeks to redraw the whole map.

So did all this catch the eyes of lawmakers in Raleigh?

Not visibly. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening behind the scene.  

Michael Bitzer
Michael Bitzer / WFAE

In what may be a landmark decision, a federal panel of judges has ruled all of North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders.

They've banned the map from being used in this year's election and ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by 5pm on January 24th.

Lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling.

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