Supreme Court blocks some redrawn North Carolina districts

08 February, 2018, 16:19 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Supreme Court declines request from Pa. GOP to stop redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a lower court ruling requiring Republican-drawn congressional districts in Pennsylvania to be reworked immediately. The state Supreme Court's order means the boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts are up in the air barely three months before the May 15th primary.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, voting 5-2 along partisan lines, agreed with the foundation and overturned the Republican-drawn map, writing that it "clearly, plainly, and palpably" violated the state constitution. New maps must be passed by the state legislature and signed by the Democratic governor before February 9, the state court said, or else the court would design its own maps for the upcoming midterm elections.

Barnes notes that the Pennsylvania redistricting "might aid Democrats in their attempt to flip the House from Republican control". It certainly seems like the latter because we've heard precious few complaints by Mr. Perez or any other Maryland Democrats about the defeat for democracy that Maryland's maps entail.

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The order was released early Tuesday evening, and does not elaborate on why election districts for North Carolina's two largest urban counties were the only two the court blocked. While Democratic Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer agrees a replacement is needed, he warns that a quick turnaround could create "confusion, if not chaos" both for candidates and voters.

"We have done a good job in North Carolina of economic development and bringing jobs to the state", Rep. Hardister said. The foundation derided the state's congressional district map as a "draconian infringement of the constitutional rights of Pennsylvania citizens".

The Supreme Court approved new legislative districts for Guilford County that were drawn by a Stanford University law professor. She goes on to speculate that the difference between the North Carolina and Pennsylvania cases may be that the Pennsylvania court explicitly states that the state constitution that led it to its decision, and not the U.S. Constitution.

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Ellis said that Democrats stand to gain seats because the current political climate suggests Republicans may be facing political backlash after a tumultuous first year of the Trump presidency. A reshuffled map is expected to make several districts friendlier for Democratic candidates in November.

"They don't know what to do", he said, "because they want to consider partisan considerations". "Any state-law challenge to HD36, HD37, HD40, HD41, and HD105 thus must be filed in state court, where state judges familiar with the state constitution can address the unsettled question of how N.C. Const. art. II, §5 (4) applies when a federal court invalidates a duly enacted map".

Costello won 57 percent of the vote in 2016, but Democrat Hillary Clinton outpaced President Donald Trump in the district.

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An attorney for the voters who successfully challenged the map, Dan Jacobson, said the criteria laid out by the court are sufficient. Persily redrew just a fraction of the state's 170 legislative districts, mostly in urban counties that tend to favor Democrats. They want those districts in and around Charlotte and Raleigh returned to their shapes as originally drawn in 2011. The order explained that the state's maps must be "composed of compact and contiguous territory" and must not "divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population".

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