by WorldTribune Staff, August 1, 2017
A panel of three federal judges has ordered the North Carolina legislature to redraw 28 of the state’s 170 General Assembly districts by Sept. 1.
The ruling on July 31 did not order special elections, which state Democrats had pushed for.
The federal court said last year the 28 NC House districts were drawn in a manner that discriminated against African-American voters. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling in June.
“We are encouraged by today’s court ruling and hope that this decision allows North Carolina citizens to finally get the fair representation from their state government they deserve,” state Democratic Party chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. “As the ruling outlined, this unconstitutionally elected Republican caucus has dragged their feet for far too long on drawing democratic maps.”
North Carolina’s Republican majority, which has called a special session for the redistricting, hired Thomas Hofeller, who has headed remapping efforts at the Republican National Committee, to draw the new district lines.
In May, the Supreme Court ruled that two North Carolina congressional districts were drawn with improper considerations on race.
Last year, courts ruled the districts held by Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams were drawn with the intention of diminishing the political power of black voters.
The state’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives consists of 10 Republicans and three Democrats.