North Carolina redistricting – where we’re at

Justin here: just a quick note for those trying desperately to keep track of what’s where in North Carolina redistricting given the last few days.  (This is the really short version.)  Don’t worry, this’ll all change by the time you get to the end of the post.

  • State legislative maps:  in 2016, a three-judge federal trial court granted judgment on a Shaw claim, finding the 2011 state legislative maps invalid based on the improper use of race; SCOTUS summarily affirmed.  The NC legislature passed a remedial plan in 2017, but the three-judge court found continuing problems with some of those districts, and engaged a Special Master (Stanford Prof. Nate Persily) to remedy the continuing problems with 9 districts.  Earlier today, a three-judge federal court adopted those remedial plans.  Those are now the presumptive state legislative maps for the 2018 elections.  (Elections in 2012, 2014, and 2016 were held under the invalid maps.)
  • Congressional maps:  in 2016, a three-judge federal trial court granted judgment on a Shaw claim, finding the 2011 congressional maps invalid based on the improper use of race; SCOTUS affirmed in 2017.  The NC legislature passed a remedial plan in 2016; the Shaw plaintiffs alleged that this plan was an improper partisan gerrymander, and that claim has since been sitting at SCOTUS, technically live, but dormant. In the meantime, two other groups of plaintiffs challenged the 2016 plan as a partisan gerrymander, and on January 9 of this year, a different three-judge federal trial court agreed, finding the plan invalid and asking for remedial districts.  And then yesterday, SCOTUS stayed that ruling, pending the filing of a full appeal and a decision about whether the Court will hear the case … which will take a while.  So the presumptive congressional maps for the 2018 elections are the maps passed in 2016.  (Elections in 2012, 2014, and 2016 were held under the invalid maps, and elections in 2018 will almost certainly be held under the 2016 maps also invalidated by the trial court.)

And that’s just North Carolina.  There’s still continuing action on congressional plans in Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and on state legislative plans in Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Only three years left before we start over again!

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