On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges ruled that in 2016, the Republican-led General Assembly in North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state's 13 congressional districts to ensure their party's "domination of the state's congressional delegation". A divided federal court later found that Republicans, using high-speed computer technology along with new voter data, were able to draw new district lines to solidify their control of the Legislature for at least the rest of the decade, if not longer.
Two years ago, the panel dismissed two districts initially drawn up in 2011 for being predominantly black. They argued the latest redraw for the racially drawn districts contained unlawful partisan gerrymanders.
Indeed, a year after the redistricting, Republicans captured only a minority of the statewide vote - 48.6 percent - but, as they had privately predicted, they still won 60 of the 99 state legislative seats, while the Democrats, who had won a majority of the vote, captured a mere 39 seats.
In the majority opinion, Judge James Wynn, who sits on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, said the state's General Assembly "enacted the plan with the intent of discriminating against voters who favored non-Republican candidates" and ordered a new map be drawn by 5 p.m. on January 24. The evidence showed the "plan achieved the General Assembly's discriminatory partisan objective", U.S. Circuit Judge Jim Wynn wrote in the case's chief opinion.
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A spokeswoman for Republican state Sen. This marks the first time that a federal court has overturned congressional district maps because of partisan gerrymandering.
This request for a stay was expected. "In Pennsylvania two judges said it did not - and (a) third agreed with us", lawyer Alice Ballard said in a statement. They found that the district lines violated the First Amendment rights of Democrats in those districts by giving their favored candidates very little chance of winning, which burdens their freedom of speech and association.
It's been alternating Republican and Democratic governors, is represented in the U.S. Senate by a member of each party and voted for each of the last two presidents - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Donald Trump.
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A different three-judge panel that also includes Wynn is considering state House and state Senatedistricts.
They contend that the decision is "all the more problematic because it will inevitably interfere with North Carolina's congressional election cycle".
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to block enforcement of an order throwing out the state's congressional map because the lines were too partisan and directing a redraw nearly immediately.
Several times over the past three decades, primary elections were delayed either in whole or in part for district maps that had to be redrawn.
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