WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down 28 state House and Senate districts in North Carolina because they violated the rights of black voters. But the justices rejected the court’s order to redraw the districts and hold a special election.
The action by the justices Monday sends the matter back to the lower court, which could order new districts in time for the regular cycle of elections in 2018.
Democrats hope new district maps will help them break the Republican stranglehold on the state legislature.
Democrats need to capture three House seats or six Senate seats currently held by Republicans to eliminate the GOP’s veto-proof majorities. That would enhance the power of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper released a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision:
Whether the election is November 2018 or earlier, redrawing the districts is good for our democracy by leveling the playing field for free and fair elections. The people should be able to choose their representatives in competitive districts instead of the representatives being able to choose the people in lopsided, partisan districts.”