Supreme Court grants North Carolina Republicans partial victory in gerrymander case

A divided Supreme Court tonight handed a partial victory to Republican legislators in North Carolina. The justices granted a request to put on hold state legislative remedial maps in Wake County and Mecklenburg County.

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court tonight handed a partial victory to Republican legislators in North Carolina.

The justices granted a request to put on hold state legislative remedial maps in Wake County and Mecklenburg County. Those maps were drawn by a court-appointed special master earlier this year after a lower court held that some of the districts in earlier maps amounted to a racial gerrymander.

The Supreme Court’s ruling means that maps drawn by Republicans for those counties in 2017 are likely to be used in the next election.

The ruling is a only a partial victory for the lawmakers, however, because the justices declined a request to put on hold maps for four other districts.

Two justices, conservatives Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, would have granted the lawmakers a full stay of their request. Two liberals, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, would have denied the request in its entirety.

Voting rights groups had accused Republicans of “seeking a stay of the district court’s remedial order so that they can hang on to the fruits of their racial gerrymander labor for at least one more year.”