North Carolina would benefit from electoral redistricting reform.

That does not excuse the News & Observer for once again confusing the issue. The newspaper suggests with an opinion-page graphic today that Republicans were responsible for the bizarre 1st and 12th Congressional district maps that a federal court ruled unconstitutional last year.

Long-time observers of Tar Heel politics know that Democrats drew these districts to benefit Democrats in the 1990s. The two districts remained intact through more than two decades of election cycles. Republicans retained them in 2011 largely because courts already had upheld them in the past.