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Court Case

Harper v. Lewis

Fourteen North Carolina voters have filed a lawsuit in state court challenging North Carolina’s current congressional map on partisan gerrymandering grounds.

Last Updated: October 31, 2019
Published: September 27, 2019

Fourteen North Carolina voters have filed a lawsuit in state court challenging North Carolina’s current congressional map on partisan gerrymandering grounds. The map in question was redrawn in 2016 after the federal courts—in Harris v. McCrory— invalidated the prior plan for racial gerrymandering. The 2016 map, argue plaintiffs, was drawn with express intent to maximize and entrench Republican party advantage in the state’s congressional delegation. The plaintiffs contend that the 2016 remedial congressional map violates several provisions of North Carolina’s constitution: the Free Elections Clause; the Equal Protection Clause; and the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly Clauses.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the map unconstitutional under the North Carolina Constitution and to enjoin the state from using the current map in any further elections. The plaintiffs are also asking the court to order the state to adopt a new plan that complies with the North Carolina Constitution.

On October 14, the defendants removed the case from state court to a federal district court. On October 22, the district court ordered the case be remanded.

On October 24, the state court granted a motion to intervene filed by three Republican members of the North Carolina congressional delegation. On October 28, the panel granted the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, preventing the use of the 2016 plan in upcoming elections, pending the ultimate resolution of the lawsuit.

On October 31, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. The panel scheduled a hearing on any motions for summary judgment for December 2, 2019. 

Documents

Wake County Superior Court

District Court