A three-judge federal panel struck down North Carolina’s 2011 State House and Senate redistricting map today due to its “racial gerrymanders.”
The panel's opinion, written by Judge James Wynn Jr., found all 28 districts challenged in the case to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“We agree that these unconstitutional, challenged districts have already caused Plaintiffs substantial stigmatic and representational injuries, and that Plaintiffs are entitled to vote under constitutional districting plans as soon as possible,” the judges' decision said.
But given the time needed for a new map to comply with state and federal election requirements, the judges said the current districts will stand for November’s elections — “despite their unconstitutionality.”
The panel has ordered the North Carolina General Assembly to create remedial districts that uphold the Equal Protection Clause in its next legislative session.