NC GOP Appeals Gerrymandering Ruling to Supreme Court

In this Feb. 16, 2016, photo, Republican state Sens. Dan Soucek, left, and Brent Jackson, right, review historical maps during The Senate Redistricting Committee for the 2016 Extra Session in the Legislative Office Building at the N.C. General Assembly, in Raleigh, N.C. (Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer via AP, File)

(CN) – North Carolina Republicans are appealing to the Supreme Court a federal district court’s decision to strike down the state’s congressional voter map.

Robert Rucho, chairman of the state’s Senate Redistricting Committee for the 2016 Extra Session, filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court late Thursday in the Middle District of North Carolina.

A three-judge panel of that court ruled Tuesday that the state’s 2016 redistricting plan constituted an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and said the state’s districts need to be redrawn before the 2018 midterm elections.

In a 205-page ruling, the panel said the latest version of the state’s district map violated Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.

The case has already had a long history.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina illegally packed black voters into two congressional districts by using race as the predominant factor in drawing the districts without a compelling reason.

Three months later, a three-judge panel in North Carolina ordered the state legislature to redraw new General Assembly districts and in October, the panel concluded a special master should be brought in to help redraw the districts.

That order applied to 28 of the state’s 170 General Assembly districts, which the court said discriminated against African-American voters.

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