Redrawn districting maps in North Carolina struck down by state’s high court

Redistricting battles, the next big fight in politics ahead of the 2022 midterms, are beginning to play out across the country, with North Carolina being the latest example of a state-level high court intervening in the process.

According to the Daily Caller, the North Carolina state Supreme Court just struck down a redrawn district map approved by the state legislature that heavily favored Republican candidates. The state’s high court ruled the map unconstitutional, claiming it was a clear example of partisan gerrymandering.

The redrawn map, a process that happens every 10 years after a federal census takes place, was done along party lines, and gave Republican candidates 10 safe districts, leaving Democrats only three, and keeping only one district in the “competitive” category.

Notably, after Democrats sued upon the map’s initial release, Republicans won the legal battle in the Wake County Circuit Court, only to be shot down by the NC Supreme Court not long after.

New orders

The NC Supreme Court ordered the NC General Assembly to submit a new map for consideration, only giving the legislative body until Feb. 18 to do so, as part of their ruling Friday.

The state’s high court made crystal clear in its decision that it wasn’t fond of how the map was drawn by state Republican officials.

“The General Assembly diminished and diluted the voting power of voters affiliated with one party on the basis of party affiliation,” the ruling read.

It added: “Achieving partisan advantage incommensurate with a political party’s level of statewide voter support is neither a compelling nor a legitimate government interest.”

“Partisan fairness”

The NC Supreme Court justices ruled that the legislators must take into account “partisan fairness” in redrawing the new map, which will first be submitted to a lower state court for an initial look.

In determining that level of fairness, various metrics will be deployed, including a mean-median difference analysis, and an efficiency gap analysis, among others.

With the Democratic Party’s predicted downfall in at least the House — if not the Senate, too — in the upcoming elections, it’s no surprise that Democrat-led groups are fighting redistricting efforts across the country using every available resource, though it’ll still likely end in the same result, regardless.

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