A decision by a three-judge panel to uphold the redistricting maps approved by the North Carolina General Assembly may move the state closer to actually holding an election in 2022.
Or maybe not.
The three-judge panel made up of two Republicans and one Democrat unanimously upheld the maps drawn by the state legislature for congressional districts and state House and state Senate districts.
The decision by the three-judge panel will no doubt be appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court, which has a 4-to-3 Democratic majority.
If the unanimous decision by the three-judge panel stands, then the state can move forward with the 2022 elections. The NC Supreme Court had already delayed the statewide primary from March 8 to May 17 in order for the three-judge panel to make a ruling on the challenge that the redistricting was overly partisan and would give Republican candidates an unfair advantage in the 2022 elections.
The NC Supreme Court also suspeneded filing for the 2022 election on Dec. 8, 2021, and no announcement has been made about when filing will reopen.
In the ruling, the judges noted that redistricting by its very nature was partisan and that there was no guarantee that the number of seats a party won in an election would be proportional to the statewide vote.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) in a press release said, “I am pleased the trial court has ruled in our favor, upholding the maps drawn by the General Assembly in the most transparent process in North Carolina history.
Moore added, “Free and fair elections are the result of an open and honest process. The General Assembly’s maps were drawn in the light of day, after months of public comment and feedback. Unfortunately Democrat plaintiffs refuse to hold themselves to this standard. Their own proposed maps were drawn in secret, implementing feedback no from the voters themselves, but from political consultants paid for by Eric Holder.”
The maps upheld by the courts place portions of Guilford County in three congressional districts, the 7th, 10th and 11th, that all lean Republican.