The potentially landmark ruling that struck down North Carolina congressional districts adds more uncertainty for candidates – and voters – barely a month before the official start of election season. The ruling Tuesday from a federal three-judge panel also carries national implications and continues more than a decade of court intervention in the drawing of North Carolina election districts. It leaves the boundaries for the state’s 13 congressional districts uncertain ahead of the Feb. 12 start of candidate filing. “Since the 2010 (U.S.) Census we’ve had seven, now eight years of perpetual redistricting,” said Andy Yates, a Republican political consultant. “This constant flux is not good for anybody.”
In Tuesday’s unanimous ruling, the three judges called the current congressional map, drawn by legislators in 2016, an unconstitutional example of “invidious partisanship.” They ordered lawmakers to draw new districts by Jan. 24.
It was the first time a federal court has blocked congressional districts because of partisan gerrymandering.
Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger said Wednesday lawmakers plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the ruling. House Speaker Tim Moore vowed to appeal “to the highest court available.”