GOP appeal seeks to limit power of state courts on House map


Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to restrict the powers of state courts to intervene in the drawing of congressional districts amid an ongoing battle over electoral maps.


What do you want to know

  • Four conservative justices have indicated they are open to reviewing state courts’ ability to change Congressional maps
  • Petition from North Carolina GOP lawmakers seeks decision before 2024 election
  • The North Carolina Supreme Court rejected a map of the United States House drawn by the GOP-led General Assembly and implemented a map drawn up by a panel of experts

The renewed effort is unlikely to alter the current election cycle after judges ruled this month to allow North Carolina to use state court-approved maps in 2022. But four conservative Upper Court have signaled that they are prepared to review the scope of state courts’ ability to change Congress’ maps in the future.

The new petition filed Thursday by North Carolina GOP lawmakers acknowledges that the maps for 2022 are set, but says the larger issue should be decided before the 2024 election.

The filing argues that the North Carolina Supreme Court exceeded its authority when it struck down a congressional map created by lawmakers and then authorized the implementation of districts drawn by court-appointed experts. The filing says the US Constitution grants state legislatures, not state courts, the ability to oversee federal elections and draw maps of Congress.

“The U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: State legislatures are responsible for shaping the maps of Congress, not state court judges,” NC House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement.

However, voters and advocacy groups who have fought Republican leaders over the maps have countered that previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings and federal law give state courts the power to appeal redistricting. and the ability to interpret state constitutions’ own rules for electoral maps.

This month, the High Court issued separate rulings that allowed North Carolina and Pennsylvania to proceed with the 2022 elections according to court-ordered maps.

At the time, four conservative justices indicated they thought the court should consider, at a later date, the power of state courts to intervene in the making of Congressional maps.

“It is almost certain that the question will continue to arise until the Court finally resolves it,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote on March 7. electoral process of the year.

North Carolina gained an additional seat in the United States House due to its growing population.

Republican majorities in the General Assembly produced an initial plan likely to result in 10 seats for Republicans and four for Democrats. After Democrats sued, arguing the map was unfairly tilted toward Republicans, state courts ruled that districts must be redrawn to meet partisan fairness standards.

Maps approved by state courts give Democrats a good chance of winning at least six seats.

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