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ICYMI: Congressional Redistricting in North Carolina

On October 28, 2019, a three-judge panel from North Carolina state Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction baring the state from conducting the upcoming 2020 congressional elections under the existing congressional district map. In the order, the court found that the districts showed signs of "extreme partisan gerrymandering... contrary to the fundamental right of North Carolina citizens to have elections conducted freely and honestly to ascertain, fairly and truthfully, the will of the people.”

In response to the preliminary injunction, the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly reconvened to hastily redraw the state's 13 U.S. House districts. The sudden redistricting process offered little opportunity for public input. The process was met with complaints from Democratic legislators and good government advocates.

“The [new] congressional map passed by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature simply replaces one partisan gerrymander with a new one. This new map fails to respond to the court’s order by continuing to split communities of interest, packing voters in urban areas, and manipulating the district lines to provide Republicans with an unfair partisan advantage,” said Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general whose National Redistricting Foundation is supporting the underlying lawsuit.

Citing time constraints, the court approved the admittedly "flawed" remedial congressional district map on December 2, 2019. “After nearly a decade of voting in some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country, courts have put new maps in place that are an improvement over the status quo, but the people still deserve better,” said Holder in a statement.

Analysts believe that the newly redrawn map carves out eight Republican-leaning districts and five Democratic-leaning districts, a slight improvement over the previous map.

The newly redrawn NC congressional district map was enacted by the NC General Assembly on 11/15/2019 and approved by NC Superior Court on 12/2/2019.


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