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The North Carolina Supreme Court has issued an explosive ruling to allow Republicans in the state to redraw congressional lines in a way that will heavily favor the GOP.
Republicans could potentially pick up four more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after North Carolina’s state Supreme Court ruled in its favor, Politico reported.
“The current map, which was installed after the state Supreme Court struck down a legislature-passed map, could lead to the Republicans picking up as many as four House seats in 2024. The state Supreme Court now holds a conservative majority after elections last fall, and the court recently agreed to revisit its prior decision,” the Washington Examiner previously reported.
“North Carolina’s 14 House seats are currently evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, but the previously enacted map, struck down by the court, would have likely set up the GOP with as many as 11 seats. One expert told Reuters it would not be a surprise if the old map was reinstated instead of an entirely new map being formulated. Early projections for the 2024 House races from the Cook Political Report show the GOP with an advantage, with the likely installation of new Republican-friendly maps in North Carolina and Ohio playing a role in the early projection. Republicans currently hold a narrow 221-212 majority in the House of Representatives after taking back control of the chamber in 2022 despite underperforming in most key races nationwide,” the outlet added in its report from February.
North Carolina Supreme Court rules in favor of allowing Republicans to redraw the state’s congressional lines in a way that heavily favors the GOP.
This sets up a process that allows national Republicans to expand their majority in the U.S. House by as many as 4 seats.
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) April 28, 2023
“On the one side of the legal fight is North Carolina Republican legislative leaders, and on the other side are voting rights groups, North Carolina voters, and state elections officials. The Justice Department backed voting rights groups in the case. The court set a deadline of March 20 for the additional filings to be submitted,” CBS News reported.
“The case before the Supreme Court, known as Moore v. Harper, stems from the redrawing of the congressional map by North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature after the 2020 Census. The state supreme court struck down the proposed voting boundaries as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that violated the North Carolina Constitution,” the outlet added.
The case is being closely watched as some warned that it could upend the 2024 presidential race.
“Conservative Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical about a state court’s decision to strike down Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina, but it seemed unlikely a majority would embrace a broad theory that could upend election law nationwide. The appeal brought by North Carolina Republicans asks the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, to embrace a hitherto obscure legal argument called the ‘independent state legislature theory,’ which could strip state courts of the power to strike down certain election laws enacted by state legislatures,” the New Yorker reported.
“The independent state legislature argument hinges on language in the Constitution that says election rules ‘shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.’ Supporters of the theory, which has never been endorsed by the Supreme Court, say the language supports the notion that, when it comes to federal election rules, legislatures have ultimate power under state law, potentially irrespective of potential constraints imposed by state constitutions,” the outlet added.
“Backed by Republican leaders at the N.C. General Assembly, the crux of the argument is that they and all other state legislators should have much broader power to write election laws, with courts mostly not allowed to stop them by ruling their actions unconstitutional. They’ve been tight-lipped about the case since filing it this spring, mostly preferring to avoid commenting on it to reporters and instead doing their talking through legal briefs. Beyond redistricting the case also has the potential to change how North Carolina and the 49 other states handle everything from early voting and mail-in ballots rules to voter ID, recounts, post-election audits, and anything else that could possibly affect an election,” the outlet added.