by Sam Hieb
Always fun to see how the New York Times sees us. In this case, the “starkest” Congressional redistricting battle in a state–North Carolina–where “election plans are already frozen by another bitter court battle, this one over Republican lawmakers’ efforts to place six state constitutional amendments on the November ballot.”
A panel of three federal judges again declared North Carolina’s congressional district map to be unconstitutional, ruling on Monday that it was gerrymandered to unfairly favor Republican candidates.
The decision, which may have significant implications for control of Congress after the midterm elections, is likely to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which for the moment is evenly split on ideological lines without a ninth justice to tip the balance.
Though North Carolina’s voters tend to divide about evenly between the two parties, Republicans currently hold 10 of the state’s 13 House seats. A redrawn district map may put more of the seats within Democrats’ reach.
Note also that former legislative counsel Gerry Cohen told the Times “I’m very sympathetic to the plaintiffs here, but it would be insane” to try to legally fix this before the election. So Democrats best focus on flipping some seats, including my 13th District, where incumbent Rep. Ted Budd faces a tough battle against opponent Kathy Manning.