More at the link.A unanimous 3-judge court (including the district court judge who recently upheld North Carolina’s strict voting law) has held in a 167-page opinion that challenged North Carolina legislative districts are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders and need to be redrawn.
This ruling follows a familiar pattern in these racial gerrymandering cases: a Republican legislature draws district lines to give the party an advantage by packing minority voters into a smaller number of districts. The state defends itself by saying it had no choice, but it had to pack in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs sue, and say that the Voting Rights Act does not require this packing, and that in fact the legislatures made race the predominant factor in redistricting in violation of the prohibition on racial gerrymandering first set out in the 1993 case of Shaw v. Reno.
The Supreme Court struck down Alabama districts on this basis in the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus case, and there are already two racial gerrymandering cases the Supreme Court will hear in the next term, including one involving a similar claim as to North Carolina’s congressional districts. I presume the state will appeal this case too to the Supreme Court, and the Court will either agree to hear the case, or grant, vacate, and remand it after it decides the other cases.
Court opinion here.