BTR News – Federal judges said Tuesday that the state of North Carolina will have to redraw its 13 congressional districts and do it quickly because the map is unconstitutionally partisan and drawn to ensure Republicans a disproportionate amount of federal representation. North Carolina has the 10th largest federal delegation with 13 seats in Congress. Only 3 of those seats are held by Democrats with the remaining 10 districts partisanly drawn to put Republicans in office. Republicans control both houses in the state legislator and the state recently elected a Democrat as governor.
The three-judge federal panel rejected the previous map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution. With 2018 mid-term elections upon the nation, the judges gave the state three weeks to file a new map with the court so it will be in place before voters go to the polls. The opinion is said to be the first federal court ruling to strike down a congressional map as representing a partisan gerrymander.