The Supreme Court has ruled that North Carolina’s congressional lines are unconstitutional because they pack in black voters. The congressional lines will now fit the 2016 redrawn map, although there is another pending case against the district lines. The court struck down the lines for District 1 and District 12. The two districts were voted on separately with District 1 struck down 8-0 and District 5-3.
Democrats have become more aggressive in challenging Republican congressional lines because the lines have been drawn to benefit Republicans, making it harder for Democrats to win the US House of Representatives and state legislatures. “This will serve as a clear warning to Republican legislatures everywhere that if they illegally racially gerrymander, they will be held to account in court,” Marc Elias, a senior advisor to the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said.
“The Constitution entrusts states with the job of designing congressional districts,” Kagan wrote in the majority opinion.
“But it also imposes an important constraint: A state may not use race as the predominant factor in drawing district lines unless it has a compelling reason.”
“North Carolina voters deserve a level playing field and fair elections, and I’m glad the Supreme Court agrees,” Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC) said.
The majority was Kagan and Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor, along with unusual addition Justice Clarence Thomas.