Supreme Court Passes on North Carolina Redistricting Case - Lauretta Brown

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In North Carolina, it wiped away a lower court opinion that had invalidated congressional maps there as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The 27th District is now vacant, after Republican Blake Farenthold resigned in April, while the 35th is held by Democrat Lloyd Doggett.

After the 2010 census, Texas was awarded four new congressional districts because of the state's population growth.

"The common thread in the court's gerrymandering decisions this term has been to generally make it harder for plaintiffs to bring these claims", said CNN legal analyst and University of Texas Law School professor Steve Vladeck, "and to generally allow states more flexibility and deference in drawing congressional and state district lines".

"The court rightly recognized that the Constitution protects the right of Texans to draw their own legislative districts, and rejected the misguided efforts by unelected federal judges to wrest control of Texas elections from Texas voters", Attorney General Paxton said.

Lawmakers re-drew district boundaries in 2011, setting off an uproar from civil rights groups and others who say the maps discriminate against voters of color.

In a 5-4 ruling, the conservative-majority court largely accepted the state's argument that the Republican-led Texas legislature acted in good faith when it adopted new electoral maps in 2013 for state legislative and US congressional seats.

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In an order released Monday, the high court sent the case back for further hearing in light of its decision in a Wisconsin case last week. They wanted his confession thrown out and a new trial.

Though he did not find one in that case, he signaled his openness to striking down extreme partisan gerrymanders if the court could agree on a standard to do so.

Texas ultimately adopted that remedial plan as its redistricting map in 2013.

The maps were challenged before they ever went into effect. He said ongoing redistricting cases are expensive and can cloud the electoral process, so it is understandable that the state wanted to resolve the ongoing questions. However, under the Supreme Court decision, this district is legal.

The lower court, said Alito, "enacted, with only very small changes, plans that had been developed by the Texas court".

Alito was joined in the outcome by the court's most consistent conservatives - Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch. The case also dealt with Texas' statehouse map.



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