The Fight for Fair Maps in North Carolina Continues

Gerrymandered district at the U.S. Supreme Court

Today, a North Carolina Court ruled that the state’s maps are an unconstitutional gerrymander for the second time. Plaintiffs in the case, Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina, expect the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina’s decision to be appealed, taking the case back to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

Plaintiffs are hopeful that SCOTUS will hear the case during its upcoming term, which starts in October. If a decision in favor of the plaintiffs is made by the end of the term, it would be possible for the voters of North Carolina to have fair maps drawn in time to be used in the 2020 elections. The state has had one of the most severely gerrymandered maps in modern American history for almost a full decade. Voters in North Carolina are ready for a ruling that will put the voters, not lawmakers, first.  

Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina has the potential to reshape future redistricting nationwide by limiting politicians’ ability to discriminate against voters who favor the minority party through the process of drawing electoral districts. The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), and University of Chicago Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos represent the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and 12 individual North Carolina plaintiffs.

A companion case, brought by lead plaintiff Common Cause and others, will also now go to SCOTUS. In response to the June decision issued by SCOTUS in Gill v. Whitford, CLC and our partners have expanded the focus of our legal argument from statewide harm, by providing concrete examples of individual, district-level harm, which should address the standing questions raised by Chief Justice John Roberts. The earlier findings by the district court as to the violation of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights were also reiterated today.

Read more about the case: Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

Learn about CLC’s state efforts outside the courtroom to fight for more democratic redistricting procedures.