Major Change Made To Voting Rights

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

( – On Friday, the North Carolina Supreme Court overruled its previous decision that struck down the state’s GOP-drawn voting maps, claiming that issues of partisan gerrymandering are political questions that cannot be addressed in the state’s court.

In a 5-2 part-line vote the lawsuit which led to an election law battle in the U.S. Supreme Court was dismissed. Justices now have the option to possibly sidestep the dispute. The state court in separate rulings also reinstated the voter-ID requirement for voting while also blocking some felons from being allowed to vote.

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby, a Republican, wrote that “Our constitution expressly assigns the redistricting authority to the General Assembly subject to explicit limitations in the text.” He proceeded to note that “partisan gerrymandering” was not addressed in those limitations and that it is not within the “authority of this Court to amend the constitution.”

The 4-3 Democratic majority in the court had previously struck down the GOP-drawn map, however, following the Republicans winning back control following an expensive midterm election campaign, the party’s new 5-2 majority granted a request from GOP lawmakers to rehear the dispute. This is the third time that the court has done so in the last three decades.

Justice Anita Earls, a Democrat, in a dissent that was joined by Justice Michael Morgan, claimed that this was “bad news for voters of North Carolina.”

This new decision could also affect the pending U.S. Supreme Court case.

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