Following a recent ruling in the ongoing fight over gerrymandering in North Carolina, the state’s Congressional district maps are again up in the air ahead of the November midterms, a critical moment for Democrats.
A panel of three federal judges ruled this week that the current maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered in favor of Republican over Democratic candidates, and raised the possibility of replacing them with redrawn or suggested already-drawn maps. This could lead to North Carolina throwing out previous results from the spring primary and using the upcoming November elections as a ‘do-over’ with new districts, as The News & Observer explains.
North Carolina legislators said they would ask the Supreme Court to intervene, as when it issued a temporary block on a lower court ruling that required lawmakers to revise the state’s congressional voting maps back in January. At that time, the Court declined to hear the pending case on partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina, along with similar cases from Maryland and Wisconsin. While the Supreme Court has ruled on racial gerrymandering as being unconstitutional, it has never ruled on unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
The Supreme Court could take up the case, though it’s not guaranteed that it will. But with North Carolina court judges coming back to the ruling they made back in January, there’s perhaps a greater chance of the Court picking up the case. There, the case also runs the chance that it will face a 4-4 tie, minus recently retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.
It’s unlikely that the ongoing drama will postpone North Carolina’s Nov. 6 election, but with the ongoing drama and the spring primary results in flux, it’s still unclear who we’ll see on the state’s ballots.