Judges uphold newly-redrawn North Carolina Congressional districts for 2020 election

(North Carolina General Assembly)

RALEIGH, N.C. — A panel of judges decided the newly-redrawn North Carolina congressional maps can be used in 2020 election, according to N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore.

The three-judge panel issued the ruling Monday, in addition to opening U.S. House of Representatives filing for 2020.

Republican Reps. David Lewis and Destin Hall, the co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistrciting, praised the map as meeting the court’s standards.

“The new Congressional map was drawn in full transparent view without partisan goals or data following extensive public input from North Carolinians to meet strict redistricting criteria identified by the courts as standards of fairness,” Reps. Lewis and Hall said.

“It’s time now to stop the endless litigation and out-of-state lawyering around North Carolina’s redistricting process and let the people determine their Congressional representatives,” they continued.

Shortly after, the North Carolina Democratic Party, however, continued to voice concerns.

“North Carolina Republicans yet again run out the clock on fair maps, denying justice to North Carolina voters and forcing our state to go another election using undemocratic district lines,” the NCDP said. “North Carolina Democrats will not stop fighting for truly fair maps where voters – not undemocratically-elected politicians – choose their representatives, and we look forward to sending new representatives to Congress who will better reflect our state’s values.”

This comes after a panel of judges granted a temporary injunction in October, blocking the state’s current congressional map from being used in the 2020 elections, ruling that voters had a “substantial likelihood” of winning a lawsuit that contended Republicans had drawn districts with “partisan intent.”

In September, a state court in North Carolina unanimously struck down Republican-led efforts to maintain state legislative districts, holding that they amount to unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders that violate the state’s Constitution.

The court held that state House and Senate maps enacted in 2017 are “significantly tainted in that they unconstitutionally deprive every citizen of the right to elections for members of the General Assembly conducted freely and honestly to ascertain, fairly and truthfully, the will of the People,” according to the opinion.

The US Supreme Court ruled this June that the federal courts must stay out of disputes over gerrymandering. North Carolina was one of the two states whose challenged congressional district map led to this ruling.

The General Assembly had a “partisan intent to create legislative districts that perpetuated a Republican-controlled General Assembly,” the court found, meaning that “in all but the most unusual election scenarios, the Republican party will control a majority of both chambers of the General Assembly.”

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