It’s not over until it’s over, and the congressional redistricting battle in North Carolina is not over yet.
The congressional redistricting battle is over for the 2022 May 17 primary and Nov. 8 general election. But in theory the congressional districts are drawn for 10 years, and while the US Supreme Court turned down a challenge from the North Carolina General Assembly to the congressional districts drawn by and approved by the courts for the 2022 election cycle, the ruling left the door open for a challenge for future elections.
The North Carolina legislature walked through that door and has asked the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the courts drawing the congressional districts for the state.
The US Constitution appears to be clear in giving that responsibility to state legislatures. Article 1, Section 4 of the US Constitution states, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
In North Carolina the courts rejected the districts drawn by the legislature and drew its own districts, which the courts then approved.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) in a press release said, “The U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: state legislatures are responsible for drawing congressional maps, not state court judges, and certainly not with the aid of partisan political operatives.”
Moore continued, “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reaffirm this basic principle and will throw out the illegal map imposed on the people of North Carolina by its highest court. It is time to settle the Election Clause question once and for all.”
One of the frequent complaints about congressional redistricting is that there are too many safe seats for Republicans and Democrats and not enough toss-up seats that might be won by candidates of either party. The congressional redistricting map rejected by the courts reportedly had four toss-up seats with three leaning Republican and one leaning Democrat. The map drawn and approved by the courts reportedly has one toss-up seat.