RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) – North Carolina’s state legislative districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to entrench Republicans in power and must be thrown out, a lawyer for state Democrats and a good-government advocacy group told a panel of judges on Monday.
“Republicans in the General Assembly have manipulated the district lines to guarantee that their party will control both the state House and the state Senate, regardless of how people vote,” attorney R. Stanton Jones said as a civil trial began in state Superior Court in Raleigh. “This attack on representative democracy and voting rights is fundamentally unfair.”
Lawyer - Leaders - Phillip - Strach - Plaintiffs
But a lawyer for Republican legislative leaders, Phillip Strach, said the plaintiffs were seeking to use “judicial fiat” to sidestep the electoral and legislative processes.
“This lawsuit is not about protecting democracy,” Strach said. “It is a full frontal assault on democracy.”
Case - State - Capital - Trial - US
The case being heard in the state capital is the first to reach trial since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that federal courts have no authority to curb partisan gerrymandering, the practice of drawing electoral maps to benefit one political party over another.
But the decision does not prevent state courts from taking up the issue based on state constitutions. Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down that state’s congressional map, which had allowed Republicans to dominate despite...
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