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SCOTUS Rules on NC Redistricting

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a new North Carolina congressional map from going into effect for the 2022 election cycle. This map was drawn by a three-judge Superior Court panel last month, after it threw out the congressional map that had been redrawn by state lawmakers. State legislative leaders appealed to the nation’s highest court to block the map drawn by the panel of judges, arguing that the judicial branch was overstepping its authority.

North Carolina’s redistricting process has been a long and difficult one over the past year. Here is a rough timeline of the events:

  • 2020: The 2020 Census is conducted, and State lawmakers are required to redraw state legislative and congressional district maps based on this new data.
  • November 2021: New district maps pass the GOP-led General Assembly by party-line votes; multiple lawsuits are filed to challenge the constitutionality of these maps.
  • December 2021NC Supreme Court delays 2022 primary elections by two months, and orders a panel of State superior court judges to rule on the redistricting lawsuits by January 11.
  • January 2022: A three-judge panel rules the maps were constitutional and do not have to be redrawn; this ruling is immediately appealed to the NC Supreme Court.
  • Early February 2022: The NC Supreme Court, which has a 4-3 Democratic majority, rules along party lines that the maps are unconstitutional. Lawmakers are given 10 days to draw new maps, and a three-judge panel is then given five days to approve the new maps or suggest alternative ones.
  • Late February 2022: State lawmakers pass new maps. The three-judge panel upholds the State House and State Senate maps, but throws out the congressional map and submits its own map. After the NC Supreme Court declines to reverse any of the lower court’s decisions, state lawmakers appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to throw out the court-drawn congressional map.
  • March 7, 2022: U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 to deny the request to block the court-drawn congressional map.

With this decision by SCOTUS, “North Carolina should be able to proceed without further legal roadblocks toward the May 17 primary elections,” according to Carolina Journal.

The candidate filing period ended last week, and a complete list of candidates can be found on the NC State Board of Elections website.


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