A three-judge federal panel ordered congressional districts in North Carolina to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections, ruling on Tuesday that the current Republican-drawn map was illegal and unconstitutionally partisan. The judges said the state legislator responsible for the 2016 map had said he drew it to give Republican candidates an advantage. “But that is not a choice the Constitution allows legislative map drawers to make,” the court said. Ralph Hise, North Carolina’s state Senate Redistricting Chairman, said through a spokeswoman that lawmakers would appeal.
Democrats and the groups that brought the suit applauded the ruling.
“Today’s ruling is a major victory for North Carolina and people across the state whose voices were silenced by Republicans’ unconstitutional attempts to rig the system to their partisan advantage,” North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement.