North Carolina Gerrymander Is Struck Down

Republican state senators in North Carolina review state maps while drawing new congressional districts on Feb. 16, 2016.Corey Lowenstein/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A couple of months ago a state court in North Carolina struck down the legislature’s gerrymandered maps for state legislative districts. Today the same court struck down the maps for congressional districts.

(Why a state court? Because the Supreme Court ruled a while back that federal courts shouldn’t get involved in partisan gerrymandering cases. State courts, however, still have jurisdiction.)

This is good news since the North Carolina case is something of a destruction test for gerrymandering decisions. The behavior of the North Carolina legislature has been almost literally beyond belief: First they gerrymandered based on racial classifications, and after that was struck down they generated a nearly identical map but carefully made sure race was never mentioned in the legislative record. Even then, though, they were so greedy that they created a map that almost literally made it impossible for Democrats to ever win a majority no matter how the vote went.

If a map like that can’t be overturned, then pretty much no map can ever be overturned. This means that judicial review of gerrymandered maps may be hanging on by only a thread, but at least it’s still hanging on. More here.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate