‘Special master’ ordered in North Carolina racial gerrymandering case

Gavel (Stock image)

Gavel (Stock image)

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A federal three-judge panel has appointed a “special master” to help with reaching a decision for the North Carolina General Assembly redistricting plan.

In August 2016, the three-judge panel found that 28 districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, but noted that it was too close to the 2016 General Election for the problem to be fixed that year. In November 2016, the three-judge panel ordered new districts to be drawn by March 2017 and for a special election to be held in the fall of 2017.

In late July 2017, the three-judge panel ordered the legislature to correct the racial gerrymandering through a legislative process. After a new redistricting proposal was adopted by the General Assembly, plaintiffs objected to several districts that failed to remedy the racial gerrymandering or drew new district lines in areas that shouldn’t have redrawn.

Judges found nine districts that “failed to remedy constitutional violation” of racial gerrymandering, calling them “legally unacceptable.”

The special master appointed by the court will now review those districts and consider appropriate remedies.

The court will put in another order for instructions for special master. Both sides have two business days to file objections.

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