Supreme Court Finds Racial Bias In North Carolina Congressional Maps

Supreme Court strikes down redrawn North... She also said North Carolina lawmakers should appoint an independent commission to draw district boundaries.

The suit stemmed from the officials' redrawing of two congressional districts following the 2010 census. For District 1, we further uphold the District Court's decision that §2 of the VRA gave North Carolina no good reason to reshuffle voters due to their race.

"It's abundantly clear that what the state of North Carolina did in drawing its legislative districts can not withstand constitutional muster", Earls said.

Writing for the court, Justice Elena Kagan said the state failed to offer compelling justification for why it so deliberately grouped black voters into the districts at the center of the legal dispute. "And therefore, when a state legislature passes a redistricting law with a partisan motivation that has a racial component to it, then that could constitute racial gerrymandering".

But the redrawn districts have been legally challenged, too, and it seems probable the courts may reject the new ones on the same grounds.

States reconsider districts following each census, and the endeavor is a political football. The court held, however, that "North Carolina's victory in a similar state-court lawsuit does not dictate the disposition of this case".

States have to take race into account when drawing maps for legislative, congressional and a host of municipal political districts. At the same time, race can't be the predominant factor without very strong reasons, under a line of high court cases stretching back 20 years.

North Carolina officials said they were trying to preserve black majorities and comply with the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 law created to protect racial minorities. "North Carolina's maps were among the worst racial gerrymanders in the nation".

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Georgia may feel the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overruling voting districts in North Carolina. It's true that Democrats had certainly drawn districts for an advantage in the past, but not to the extreme extent Republicans did. Is it politics or is it race?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that states draw districts enabling African Americans to elect their chosen representatives, lest black voters be spread too thinly across district lines. District 12 was also reconfigured, increasing African-American voters from 43.8 percent to 50.7 percent.

The court's recent decision is a significant one, as lawmakers sought to untangle the roles of race and partisanship when it comes to redistricting.

Even as the justices debated the North Carolina and Virginia maps in December, another case from Wisconsin was moving their way that could give them a chance to rule on partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering.

"This is a watershed moment in the fight to end racial gerrymandering", Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general and the chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said in a statement.

The Washington Examiner's David Freddoso adds that all eight justices (Neil Gorsuch sat out the vote after having missed the arguments) agreed on one particular district.

The state argued that it relied on partisan affiliation, not race, in drawing the district lines. Both are now held by black Democrats, G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams, respectively. The court struck that map, 8-0.

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