RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal judges have affirmed their earlier decision striking North Carolina’s congressional districts as unconstitutional because Republicans drew them with excessive partisanship, after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the case be re-examined.
The three-judge panel ruled Monday again for election advocacy groups and Democrats who sued to challenge North Carolina’s congressional boundaries.
Judges previously deemed the map an illegal partisan gerrymander that violated constitutional protections of Democratic voters. But the Supreme Court ordered them in June to take a second look based on a Wisconsin redistricting case in which justices found plaintiffs hadn’t proven they had the right to challenge the lines.
The Greensboro-based court raised the possibility that North Carolina’s 13 districts could be redrawn for this year’s elections. Some plaintiffs say new maps for 2020 would be more likely.