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North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Map

Rep. Alma Adams represents one of the districts that challengers to the current map most often say is gerrymandered. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Alma Adams represents one of the districts that challengers to the current map most often say is gerrymandered. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a defeat for North Carolina Democrats, who hold just three of the states’s 11 congressional seats, the state Supreme Court upheld the state’s current congressional and legislative map Friday.  

The court found that the GOP legislature did not illegally consider race when  drawing the district lines in 2011. Democrats had been hoping that a ruling against the current map would help them pick up another seat in a redraw.  

The NAACP had argued that the consideration of race resulted in a map that packed African-Americans into too few districts, thereby diluting their influence in the rest of the state.  

Rep. Alma Adams, who represents the 12th District, joined the suit arguing that the design or her district was an unconstitutional gerrymander.  

“They’re not able to have an impact and influence in other parts of the state,” she told the Charlotte Observer in 2014, arguing that her district had been drawn to deny black voters a voice in the rest of the state. “There is something wrong with that.”  

This isn’t the first time the state Supreme Court has come to this conclusion. In December 2014, it found the lines to be constitutional. But after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar redistricting case in Alabama in March this year, the high court ordered the state Supreme Court to revisit its decision.  

“After rebriefing and a careful review of the record in this case, we observe that the three judge panel conducted the required detailed district-by-district analysis without giving improper weight to population equalization,” the state Supreme Court wrote in its decision.  

Before the Supreme Court upheld the lines in 2014, a federal three-judge panel also upheld the lines, finding in 2013 that the legislature considered race to comply with the Voting Rights Act.  

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