Current North Carolina Map Can be Used in 2018, Court Rules
The court had ruled that the map is a partisan gerrymander
A panel of three federal judges ruled Tuesday that North Carolina’s current congressional map can be used in the 2018 midterms, despite previously ruling that the map is a partisan gerrymander.
The judges ruled that there was “insufficient time” for the court to approve a new map in time for the elections that are just over two months away. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants in the case had asked that a new map not be imposed on the state for the current election cycle.
The judges with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled late last month that the state’s congressional had been drawn to favor Republicans. In its initial ruling, the court left open the question of whether a new map should be imposed for the 2018 elections in November even though the primaries had already happened, or whether new primaries should be held in November with a general election in November.
The court determined Tuesday that the latter scenario was also not feasible. The judges wrote that imposing a new schedule would “unduly interfere with the State’s electoral machinery and likely confuse voters and depress turnout.”
The defendants in the case, including state lawmakers who led the redistricting process, appealed the judges’ ruling that the map was gerrymandered to the Supreme Court.
Watch: The Many Ways to Draw a Gerrymander
Todd Ruger contributed to this report.