North Carolina court declines to toss out GOP-drawn House map

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A North Carolina trial court dealt a setback to Democrats on Tuesday when it declined to strike down GOP-drawn congressional and legislative maps that had been challenged as illegal partisan gerrymanders.

The ruling is the latest in a flurry of litigation and court orders muddying North Carolina’s 2022 elections — and leaving its political future for the next decade in limbo. The Democratic-aligned plaintiffs who brought the suit immediately said they will appeal to the state Supreme Court, where their party has a narrow majority.

In a 260-page ruling, three judges from the Wake County Superior Court wrote that redistricting was an inherently political process and that maps drawn for partisan gain did not violate the state constitution.

“Were we as a Court to insert ourselves in the manner requested, we would be usurping the political power and prerogatives of an equal branch of government,” wrote Superior Court Judges Graham Shirley, Nathaniel Poovey and Dawn Layton.

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