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Federal Judges Strike Down NC Congressional District Map Over Partisan Gerrymander

by Countable | 1.10.18

What’s the story?

For the first time ever, a federal district court panel has struck down a congressional district map as a partisan gerrymander.

The three judge panel, comprised of one Obama appointee, one Carter appointee, and one Bush appointee, ruled unanimously that the North Carolina Congressional Map was written to specifically privilege Republican candidates.

They argued that the map was in violation of the constitution in three ways, writes the Washington Post. It violated the Equal Protection clause, the First Amendment and Article 1, "by exceeding the scope of the General Assembly’s delegated authority to enact congressional regulations and interfering with the right of ‘the People’ to choose their Representatives."

Reports differ on the deadline (the Post reports January 24, while the Raleigh News & Observer reports January 29), but by the end of the month the state’s General Assembly has been instructed to draw up a new map.

In October the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the state legislative district map in Wisconsin and whether it should be struck down as a partisan gerrymander. Their ruling is expected in June 2018. According to the News & Observer, "legislative leaders plan to appeal [the NC case] to the U.S. Supreme Court" and it is assumed the Court would consider this case with the Wisconsin case, Gill v. Whitford.

What do you think?

Do you think the federal court made the right decision in this case, or do you think they’re usurping state’s rights? Are you concerned about partisan gerrymanders going into the 2018 and 2020 elections? Do you live in a district that you believe is gerrymandered?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Nathania Johnson via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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