U.S. Supreme Court agrees NC legislative districts were illegally gerrymandered based on race

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The U.S. Supreme Court is sending a clear message to North Carolina lawmakers: racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional.

The nation’s highest court handed down its third decision in three weeks regarding a North Carolina racial gerrymandering case — North Carolina v. Covington. This time, justices affirmed that 28 state House and Senate districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered when Republicans drew new maps in 2011 but sent back to the lower courts a remedial order for special elections to be reconsidered.

Republicans have been put on notice that they cannot pack black voters into districts, but they won’t necessarily have to hold a special election later this year – though that decision will ultimately be in the hands of the lower court. [Read more…]

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