North Carolina partisan gerrymandering trial begins

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Election advocacy groups and Democrats are arguing in state court that North Carolina Republicans unlawfully discriminated against voters based on political leanings when they drew legislative maps to preserve GOP majorities

Lawyers for Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and registered voters pitched their arguments at Monday’s start of a partisan gerrymandering trial. It begins weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it’s not the job of federal courts to decide if boundaries are politically unfair.

But plaintiffs’ attorney Stanton Jones told the judges that doesn’t mean state courts should “sit idly by while people’s constitutional rights are being violated.” His clients want new maps drawn for 2020.

The Republicans’ chief attorney says Democrats are simply asking courts to use “raw political power” to take redistricting responsibilities from the legislature.

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