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U.S. Supreme Court to take up North Carolina gerrymandering case

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a long-running partisan gerrymandering case, the court announced Friday afternoon.

As anticipated, the high court will hear Rucho v. Common Cause. The case will be set for argument in the court’s March session.

Federal courts have twice found the state’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan unconstitutional.

In the case, Common Cause argues extreme partisan gerrymandering punishes supporters of the minority party based on their political beliefs and in violation of the First Amendment.

State Rep. David Lewis (R- Harnett), an architect of the redistricting map, was transparent about its partisan intention when it was debated in 2016.

“I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats,” Lewis said. “So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

“Whether it is Democrats or Republicans manipulating the election maps, gerrymanders cheat voters out of true representation,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, in a written statement Friday.

The court will also take up Lamone v. Benisek, a Maryland case that alleges a Democratic gerrymander. The outcome of the two redistricting cases could set a legal precedent dictating how maps are redrawn after the 2020 census.

“The Supreme Court has the opportunity to set a clear standard that will restore a meaningful vote to millions of Americans disenfranchised by gerrymanders in Maryland, North Carolina and across the country.”

 

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