North Carolina court ruling on 2022 election maps in gerrymandering lawsuit

One of the new maps of political districts that North Carolina lawmakers drew last week is still too biased to be used in the upcoming election, a state court ruled Wednesday.

Wednesday the judges overseeing the trial ruled that they would accept the newly redrawn versions of the maps for the NC House and NC Senate that lawmakers passed, but not the new Congressional map. Instead of taking the congressional map of the legislature, or the proposed maps drawn by the challengers in the case, the justices asked a panel of outside experts to draw a new congressional map for the state.

This is now the second version of GOP-drawn congressional maps to be snubbed by the court system in recent weeks. And unlike the Supreme Court, this panel of justices has a Republican majority.

Earlier in February, the Democratic-majority Supreme Court in North Carolina ruled that the maps Republican lawmakers drew late last year were unconstitutional and had to be redrawn. The legislator then went back to work, adopting new cards less biased in favor of future Republican candidates.

Corn these new cards were still not fair enough, the court ruled, at least for Congress.

That’s not necessarily the end, however. Appeals to the Supreme Court are expected by the end of the day – which could derail the case, or even delay the 2022 primary elections. These are currently scheduled for May 17, which means that the filing of applications should begin in a single day, Thursday morning, unless the court orders a postponement.

Provisional Congressional Map Adopted by 3-Judge Panel in North Carolina
The card drawn by Special Masters and published by a panel of 3 judges on February 23, 2022. Screenshot

For more on North Carolina government and politics, listen to the Under the Dome political podcast from The News & Observer and NC Insider. You can find it at link.chtbl.com/underthedomenc or wherever you get your podcasts.

This story was originally published February 23, 2022 12:26 p.m.

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Will Doran reports on North Carolina politics, particularly the state legislature. In 2016 he started PolitiFact NC, and before that he reported on local issues in several cities and towns. Contact him at [email protected] or (919) 836-2858.

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