3-Judge Federal Court Strikes Down 2 North Carolina Congressional Districts as Racial Gerrymanders

The 100 pages of opinions are here. One of the three judges dissented as to one of the two districts.

If North Carolina wishes, it could seek direct Supreme Court review. There is already a Virginia case raising similar issues before the Court. And we are waiting for other rulings in similar cases, including the remand of the Alabama racial gerrymandering case from last year which got this ball rolling.

On these cases, see my piece, Racial Gerrymandering’s Questionable Revival, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming 2015) (draft available).

Update: The court has given two weeks to parties to redraw these districts, but early voting has already begun. [Correction: It is absentee voting, not in person early voting which has already started.] Republican lawmakers have already criticized this change as “eleventh hour.”

The state might file an emergency motion with the Supreme Court, and the Court could delay this ruling. The Supreme Court has been very wary of allowing court changes to election rules just before the election. (See this paper on the Purcell Principle).

 

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