Republicans to appeal partisan gerrymandering ruling
Publish date: 12 January 2018
Issue Number: 4376
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Republican leaders in North Carolina pledged this week to appeal a federal court’s decision striking down their plan for redrawing congressional districts, promising to take to the Supreme Court a case that could have broad repercussions for future elections nationally. A report in The Washington Post notes that a three-judge panel has invalidated the map drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2016, calling it improper partisan gerrymandering. The decision was the first striking down of a congressional map on the grounds that it was rigged in favour of a political party. The court panel ordered lawmakers to redraw the boundaries by 29 January, although Republican leaders said they planned to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court; they said they also planned to request a stay of the ruling. The decision adds to a growing movement to have the Supreme Court finally decide whether partisan gerrymandering can be so extreme as to violate voters’ constitutional rights. While the court has thrown out maps for other reasons, such as racial bias, it has never thrown out a state’s redistricting plan on the grounds that it was too partisan. Such a ruling could radically change American elections, the report states.