North Carolina court rules 2017 legislative districts unconstitutional
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North Carolina court rules 2017 legislative districts unconstitutional

A North Carolina state court on Tuesday ruled the state’s legislative districts, drawn by Republican lawmakers, deprived citizens of their right to vote and were described as the result of “extreme partisan gerrymandering.”

A three-judge panel found that by using their control of the General Assembly, defendants “manipulated district boundaries, to the greatest extent possible, to control the outcomes of individual races so as to best ensure their continued control of the legislature.”

In redrawing the relevant districts in the remedial maps, the court stated that “the invalidated 2017 districts may not be used as a starting point for drawing new districts” and no effort may be made to maintain the cores of invalidated districts.

Additionally, legislative defendants must conduct the entire remedial process in full public view, at a minimum, requiring all map drawing to occur at public hearings, with any relevant computer screen visible to legislators and public observers.

The judicial panel permitted state lawmakers until September 18 to draw new districts.