On Monday, three federal judges in North Carolina ordered the state Legislature to draw up new legislative-district boundaries within a month. The current boundaries drawn by Republicans are considered unacceptable, The Hill reports.
The ruling, which was unanimous, affects 28 of the state’s 170 General Assembly districts. The court has ruled that the current boundaries discriminate against, and diminish the political leverage of, black voters.
In June the state Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling identifying those 28 districts, and in May the Supreme Court ruled that two of those districts were drawn without appropriate consideration of race. Democrats sought new elections ahead of the 2018 midterms, but the court ruling will not affect the current makeup of the Republican-dominated Legislature. The ruling will, however, force Republicans to draw the new lines quickly.
In the past, Republicans have been accused of not taking the redistricting efforts seriously, and of going too far when drawing maps in favor of their candidates. State Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin stated, “We are encouraged by today’s court ruling and hope that this decision allows North Carolina citizens to finally get the fair representation from their state government they deserve.”
He continued, “As the ruling outlined, this unconstitutionally elected Republican caucus has dragged their feet for far too long on drawing democratic maps.”
Legislative leaders are said to be preparing a session dedicated to redrawing the district lines.
Read more at The Hill.