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Court rules Pennsylvania can keep congressional district map

13 January 2018

In a devastating and almost 200-page rebuke written by Judge James A. Wynn Jr., they ordered that new, fairer districts for 2018 be drawn before the end of January.

The North Carolina case differed somewhat from those in Wisconsin and Maryland because of statements made by Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican who led the redistricting process in 2016 after the federal court ruled that a map drawn in 2011 contained two unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.

"However, the 2011 Pennsylvania Congressional districts map has been determined to be constitutional by both Federal and State judges, which serves to further strengthen my view that the plaintiffs should abandon their costly legal actions and allow the Legislature's examination of reforms to move forward." .

#BREAKING: A federal court unanimously ruled that North Carolina's congressional districts are an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

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In the majority opinion, Judge James Wynn, who sits on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, said the state's General Assembly "enacted the plan with the intent of discriminating against voters who favored non-Republican candidates" and ordered a new map be drawn by 5 p.m. on January 24.

Closer to home, the motion notes the candidate filing period is due to begin here in just about a month.

The U.S. Supreme Court should step in to halt a lower court's partisan gerrymandering ruling in North Carolina because of an "eleventh-hour disruption", according to an emergency document filed Friday.

Additionally, Strach contended, blocking the effects of the order by the three judges would be in keeping what the high court had done in a Wisconsin case that tests the breadth to which lawmakers can redistrict for partisan gain.

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North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin called the ruling a "major victory for North Carolina and people across the state whose voices were silenced by Republicans' unconstitutional attempts to rig the system to their partisan advantage".

"Why do we have a supermajority of Republicans in our state legislature and why do we have 10 members of Congress who are Republican and three who are Democratic?" said Cooper, a Democrat, on CNN's "New Day". The motion states the ruling in the Wisconsin case would likely affect North Carolina's case as well.

Gerry Cohen, a former legislative staffer who worked on redistricting plans from 1981 to 2011, echoed on Friday what he said previous year after North Carolina's congressional maps were declared to have two unconstitutional gerrymanders. The primaries and candidate filing period was pushed back but the election, more or less, ran without any redistricting chaos.

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Court rules Pennsylvania can keep congressional district map