The United States Supreme Court has just agreed to hear arguments over the potentially unconstitutional district maps in North Carolina.
This new case will mark the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the partisan gerrymandering issue since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Kennedy.
Back in August, a 3-judge federal court panel issued a 321-page ruling in Common Cause v. Rucho, saying the most recent set of maps drawn by North Carolina’s Republican-dominated General Assembly gave GOP candidates an unfair advantage over Democrats. The court said the maps suppressed the political speech of voters who belong to the minority party in a district, violating the First and 14th Amendments and portions of Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
“By definition, partisan gerrymandering amounts to an effort to dictate electoral outcomes by favoring candidates of one party and disfavoring candidates of another,” said 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Wynn.
The Supreme Court did allow the current districts (redrawn under court order for the 2016 election) to remain in effect for the 2018 cycle.
If the justices do order new congressional maps, they will only be in place for the 2020 election. The new census coming out in 2020 will require yet another redrawing of districts, and due to North Carolina’s population growth, we’re now expected to gain a 14th district.
What do you think about North Carolina’s recently redistricted maps?