The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a Republican bid to reinstate a map delineating U.S. House of Representatives districts in North Carolina that was struck down as unfair to Democrats in a case that could expand power politicians on the conduct of elections. The justices appealed by Republican state lawmakers from a February decision by North Carolina‘s highest court to reject the Congressional map approved last year by the state legislature controlled by the republicans.
The North Carolina Supreme Court determined that the boundaries of the state’s 14 House districts were drawn by the legislature in a way that increased Republicans’ electoral chances at the expense of Democrats. He rejected Republican arguments to protect maps drawn by the legislature from legal attack in state courts. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Republican request to suspend rulings from lower courts that adopted the court-drawn map, a move seen as bolstering Democratic hopes of retaining their narrow House majority in the U.S. November midterm elections in which control of Congress is at stake. Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch disagreed with the decision.
Two groups of plaintiffs, including Democratic voters and an environmental group, sued after the North Carolina Legislature passed its version of the Congressional map last November. The plaintiffs argued that the map violated provisions of the North Carolina state constitution regarding free elections and freedom of assembly, among other things. The North Carolina Supreme Court struck down the map on February 4, finding in a later opinion that the way the districts were designed was intentionally biased against Democrats, diluting their “fundamental right to equal voting power.” .
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