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Brewster v. Berger

Three North Carolina voters filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to allow the 2020 congressional elections to proceed under a map currently blocked by a state court.

Last Updated: January 22, 2020
Published: November 4, 2019

Note: The Bren­nan Center is not a parti­cipant in this case.

Case Back­ground

Three North Caro­lina voters – one of whom intends to run for a congres­sional seat in 2020 – have filed a federal lawsuit concern­ing the state’s 2016 congres­sional plan. The plan was recently blocked by a state court in Harper v. Lewis while litig­a­tion in that court over a partisan gerry­man­der­ing claim contin­ues. The plaintiffs in Brew­ster argue that the state court’s order tempor­ar­ily block­ing the plan has the poten­tial to harm congres­sional campaigns and delay the primary elec­tions, in viol­a­tion of the plaintiffs’ rights under Article I of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, as well as the First, Fifth, and Four­teenth Amend­ments.

On Novem­ber 1, the plaintiffs in Harper v. Lewis filed a motion to inter­vene as defend­ants.

On Decem­ber 2, 2019, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to permit the 2020 elec­tions to move forward under the current map. On Decem­ber 5, 2019, after the North Caro­lina General Assembly enacted a new congres­sional plan for 2020, the plaintiffs volun­tar­ily dismissed their suit.


District Court