North Carolina partisan gerrymandering state trial begins

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state court trial on whether legislative districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders starts just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it wasn’t the purview of federal courts to decide if boundaries are politically unfair.

A three-judge panel prepared for two weeks of arguments and testimony beginning Monday.

Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and voters challenged House and Senate maps that Republicans drew in 2017. They say the lines maximized GOP advantage beyond what political geography can explain and want new boundaries for 2020.

GOP legislators say legislative elections are competitive, and Democrats simply want judges to create a favorable political outcome they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box.

This case continues despite the Supreme Court’s ruling because the plaintiffs argue the maps violate North Carolina’s constitution.

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