A panel of three federal judges on Tuesday ruled that North Carolina's congressional map is unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and said the state's General Assembly must redraw district lines before the 2018 midterm election.
This is the first time a federal court has ruled that a congressional map's boundaries violate the Constitution because they were drawn for partisan reasons — in this case, to benefit Republican candidates. North Carolina has until Jan. 24 to come up with a "remedial plan," but the court said if it found the new district lines to be partisan, the judges will make the new map.
Several organizations challenged the North Carolina map, including Common Cause. "Every American deserves representation in Washington, but the gerrymandered map struck down by the court today robbed much of the state of a representative voice in the nation's capital," the group's president, Karen Hobart, said in a statement, adding, "Today's decision is a victory for democracy."