Court rules GOP’s NC redistricting efforts unconstitutional

A federal court struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, saying it went out of its way to benefit Republicans, to the point that it was unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs in the case argued that the map, which was drawn by Republicans in 2016, violated the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause as well as the Constitution’s Elections Clause.

The panel of three judges also argued that gerrymandering violated Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which says members of the House of Representatives shall be “chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.”

The court agreed that the Constitution was violated in all of those cases and said that the state could not hold another election with the map drawn the way it is, according to the Huffington Post. 

Republicans vow to fight back

“Legislative Defendants also do not argue ― and have never argued ― that the 2016 Plan’s intentional disfavoring of supporters of non-Republican candidates advances any democratic, constitutional, or public interest. Nor could they. Neither the Supreme Court nor any lower court has recognized any such interest furthered by partisan gerrymandering,” U.S. Circuit Judge James Wynn wrote in the majority opinion.

“Partisan gerrymandering runs contrary to numerous fundamental democratic principles and individual rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

On the other hand, Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina GOP, said that the Supreme Court would strike down the court’s decision as infringing on the rights of the legislature to draw districts.

“North Carolina’s Congressional Districts are fair, and were drawn following all known rules and existing case law. It is incredibly disappointing that activist judge Jim Wynn is waging a personal, partisan war on North Carolina Republican voters. It is now very clear that Judge Wynn has decided that the North Carolina Republican Party should not be allowed to draw election districts under any circumstances or under any set of rules,” Woodhouse said in a statement.

“This is a hostile takeover of the North Carolina General Assembly and legislative bodies across the U.S. The unprecedented usurping of legislative authority by Judge Wynn will most certainly be stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile the U.S. Supreme Court should take note of the outrageous political actions of some courts and see what a Pandora’s box they could be opening with partisan gerrymandering claims.”