January 10

A federal court on Tuesday ruled that Republicans in North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered congressional districts in 2016 to ensure Republican “domination of the state’s congressional delegation.”

The three-judge panel struck down the map and ordered the state’s General Assembly to come up with a substitute by Jan. 24.

The decision was the first striking down of a congressional map, as opposed to a state legislative map, on the grounds that it was rigged in favor of a particular political party. Redistricting has historically been political and partisan to one degree or another.

While courts have invalidated redistricting plans, including ones in North Carolina, as racially discriminatory, judicial objection to gerrymandering for partisan gain is relatively new territory, with legal standards unsettled by the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, the court has never struck down a redistricting plan on the basis of partisan gerrymandering.

 Two cases currently under consideration by the high court, one from Wisconsin and another from Maryland, may provide guidance. If North Carolina appeals Tuesday’s decision, the Supreme Court could very well add that case to its docket.

The dilemma for the court, as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said during October’s oral arguments in the Wisconsin case, Gill v Whitford, is that adjudicating partisan gerrymandering cases will flood the courts.

Much more at the Washington Post article, at link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/01/10/federal-court-voids-north-carolinas-gop-drawn-congressional-map-for-partisan-gerrymandering/?hpid=hp_rhp-morning-mix_mm-carolina%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.145f46c93563