N.C.’s Latest Attempt to Limit Black Voter Influence Statewide Fails 

North Carolina’s “contorted and contrived … serpentine” Congressional District 12

By Moses Frenck

North Carolina’s most recent attempt to prevent Black voters from influencing elections received a setback late Friday night after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay, or stop, a ruling by a lower court forcing the state’s Republican-led legislature to redraw its electoral maps because they amounted to racial gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering, which is legal, allows state legislatures to manipulate the boundaries of congressional districts to favor a particular party. However, it is not legal to do so on the basis of race. In the case of North Carolina, by packing more Blacks into districts that already voted for Black representatives, it reduced the number of Blacks in other districts.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on Feb. 5 ruled that the state’s congressional redistricting maps were unconstitutional because lawmakers used race to determine the districts’ shape and voting populations. The court had given North Carolina until Friday, Feb. 19 to redraw the maps.

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