North Carolina’s recently redrawn congressional map could upend Democrats’ use of redistricting to gain back the House majority ahead of 2024.
The Supreme Court declined to allow Alabama to use its Republican-drawn congressional map in late September, a federal judge is requiring Georgia to redraw its maps to better represent black voters and another case in Louisiana could result in an additional majority-black district. Democrats could lose up to four congressional seats in North Carolina after the GOP-controlled state legislature’s new map was approved last week, which is expected to end up in court, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“Oh yes, those maps will be challenged,” North Carolina’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper told the Post. “This is gerrymandering on steroids.”
North Carolina’s 14 congressional seats are currently evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, but both Senate seats are held by the GOP.
Democrats and other groups are currently negotiating the logistics of a potential case, including whether it should be tried via the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [VRA], requiring maps to be drawn with fair minority representation, or by a 14th Amendment challenge citing racial gerrymandering, according to the Post.
“If they’re going to make me go fight them on the VRA, I absolutely plan on it,” North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton told the Post.
Some Democrats have acknowledged that such a challenge would be “a long game,” John Bisognano, the president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, told the Post.
#BREAKING: North Carolina's congressional map has passed the NC House and the NC Senate.
— The Redistrict Network (@RedistrictNet) October 25, 2023
This would be the fourth time Democrats have challenged GOP-drawn maps in the state since 2010, leading to them either being deemed unconstitutional or redrawn, according to the Post.
Richard Hudson, North Carolina congressman and the chair of the House GOP’s campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Post he expects the Democrats to challenge the maps as their “playbook has been sue-till-you’re-blue for the whole decade.”
“The North Carolina General Assembly has diligently constructed a fair and legal map that is a fair representation of the voters of the Tar Heel State,” Hudson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Republicans have better ideas for how to fix problems affecting North Carolinians – like inflation, crime, and the border – and when we make that case to voters, I am confident we will achieve victory next November.”
North Carolina state Republicans drew the maps with the anticipation they’d be challenged in court, and expect them to stay put, according to the Post.
“This is the political balance based off of how people live in North Carolina, and these are fair and legal maps and I think they’ll be upheld if they’re challenged,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry told the Post, predicting the new maps will be in place for 2024.
Former President Donald Trump won North Carolina twice and is currently polling ahead of President Joe Biden in the battleground state for 2024, according to FiveThirtyEight’s survey compilation.
Cooper, Clayton, Bisognano, Hudson, McHenry and the North Carolina GOP did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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