Organizations that have challenged North Carolina redistricting plans are going back to state court over the General Assembly’s redrawing last year of election districts — this time with a new lawsuit challenging four state House districts in Wake County. The challengers are arguing that lawmakers violated the state constitution when they redrew Wake County election districts mid-decade when federal judges had not ordered them to do so to correct other districts ruled to be racial gerrymanders.
“Voters in North Carolina have a state constitutional right to have their legislative districts changed only once a decade. This is an important protection in state law – one that many states don’t have – and its clear purpose is to prevent the ills of gerrymandering and political gamesmanship present here,” Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and lead attorney in the case, said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed.
“When tasked with fixing racially gerrymandered districts in 2017, the legislature made no secret of using politically-motivated and illegal changes throughout the county, violating the North Carolina Constitution in the process. Swapping one constitutional violation for another is not acceptable, and we expect the state courts to vigorously protect the state constitutional rights of our clients.”