A North Carolina court on Tuesday struck down the state’s current legislative districts for violating the rights of Democratic voters, forcing districts to be withdrawn ahead of the 2020 election.
The three judge panel’s opinion says that North Carolina’s General Assembly “had a partisan intent to create legislative districts that perpetuated a Republican-controlled” assembly when drawing maps in 2017.
The redistricting saw the “collective voting strength” of Democrats diluted, resulting in a map that greatly favored Republican candidates.
The court has given the General Assembly until Sept. 18 to issue remedial maps. The drawing of those maps will be required to occur at public hearings, with “relevant computer screen visible to legislators and public observers.”
Republicans have controlled North Carolina’s redistricting process since 2011 when they won majorities in both chambers of the state legislature for the first time since 1870.
Since 2011, the judges noted, Republicans have secured veto proof majorities in multiple elections despite being nearly neck-and-neck with Democrats state-wide.