from the careful-plotting dept.
The Washington Post reports Supreme Court rules race improperly dominated N.C. redistricting efforts
The Supreme Court ruled [May 22] that North Carolina's Republican-controlled legislature relied on racial gerrymandering when drawing the state's congressional districts, a decision that could make it easier to challenge other state redistricting plans.
The decision continued a trend at the court, where justices have found that racial considerations improperly tainted redistricting decisions by GOP-led legislatures in Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina. Some cases involved congressional districts, others legislative districts.
[...] [The justices] were unanimous in rejecting one of the districts and split 5 to 3 on the other.
Republican legislators used surgical precision to pack black voters into just two districts, the tentacular 1st and the snake-like 12th. The lower court found that these districts targeted voters on the basis of race in violation of the constitution, a move that effectively prevented black voters from electing their preferred candidates in neighboring seats. map
[...] This now-invalidated congressional map was one of, if not the very most, aggressive partisan gerrymanders in modern history. North Carolina is a relatively evenly divided swing state--Donald Trump won it by just 3 points last year--yet these lines offered Republicans 10 safe districts while creating three lopsidedly Democratic seats. Amazingly, all 10 Republican districts hit a perfect sweet spot with GOP support between 55 and 60 percent, a level that is high enough to be secure yet spreads around Republican voters just carefully enough to ensure the maximum number of GOP seats possible.