North Carolina Supreme Court strikes down GOP-drawn map of Congress

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The North Carolina Supreme Court, made up of four Democrats and three Republicans, issued a quick decision just two days after the opening of oral arguments on Wednesday. The ruling overturns a Jan. 11 lower court ruling that left the Republican-drawn map of Congress standing.

“The General Assembly violates the Constitution of North Carolina when it deprives a voter of their right to substantially equal voting power on the basis of their partisan affiliation,” Judge Robin Hudson wrote in the order. “Getting a partisan advantage disproportionate to a political party’s level of statewide voter support is neither a compelling nor legitimate government interest.

The map drawn by the Republicans transforms the retired Democratic representative. GK Butterfieldin a competitive district and eviscerates the Greensboro area seat held by the Democratic representative. Kathy Manning. Democrats currently have five seats in the North Carolina delegation, their highest total in years, thanks to a 2020 state court ruling that determined the map of the past decade was also unfairly drawn in benefit of the Republicans.

In particular, the decision does not list any specific geographic standards or measures that a new map should meet. But he suggested mapmakers could use various mathematical analyses, such as the “efficiency gap” formula, to determine unfair partisan advantage.

North Carolina got one seat in the redistribution. It has a Republican-controlled General Assembly, and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has no veto power over the maps. But Democrats have poured resources into state Supreme Court elections in recent years in hopes of limiting Republican redistricting power.

Chief Justice Paul Newby, a Republican who narrowly beat Democrat Cheri Beasley for the court’s top spot, wrote a dissent, accusing his colleagues of liberal activism. The other two Republican justices joined in his dissent.

“A majority of this Court, however, rejects judicial restraint, seizing the opportunity to advance its agenda,” Newby wrote.

Democrats have landed three major redistricting court rulings this year alone. The Ohio State Supreme Court rejected a Republican-drawn map that could have relegated the Democrats to just two of 15 seats. Meanwhile, federal judges have ordered the Alabama legislature to draw two heavily black districts instead of lumping the state’s large number of black voters into a single seat — though Republicans have appealed the decision. this decision before the Supreme Court.

The courts are also expected to determine maps for Wisconsin, Louisiana and Pennsylvania in the coming weeks. All three states have Democratic governors with veto power, but Republican-dominated state houses.

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