Plaintiffs in Common Cause v. Lewis file appeal asking NC Supreme Court to review eight NC House districts that remain partisan gerrymanders

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RALEIGH – Plaintiffs in the case of Common Cause v. Lewis on Friday filed a petition with the NC Supreme Court asking the justices to immediately review the Superior Court’s approval of eight NC House districts that remain extreme partisan gerrymanders after the legislature’s court-ordered redraw. The districts in question are in two county groupings: Columbus-Pender-Robeson and Forsyth-Yadkin.

“The Superior Court’s landmark ruling in Common Cause v. Lewis striking down partisan gerrymandering of North Carolina’s legislative districts was a historic win for the people of our state,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC. “But even with that clear and decisive victory against partisan gerrymandering, the fight for constitutional legislative districts is not yet done. In these two House groupings, the House acted with clear partisan intent, overemphasized incumbency protection, and recreated specific features of the prior unconstitutional districts. As such, we believe it’s crucial that the NC Supreme Court orders these eight districts to be redrawn by a neutral referee so they are completely free from partisan gerrymandering.”

Background on Common Cause v. Lewis

On Sept. 3, a panel of three judges in the Wake County Superior Court ruled unanimously in favor of plaintiffs in the case of Common Cause v. Lewis, finding that the Republican-controlled NC General Assembly violated the North Carolina Constitution when it gerrymandered the state’s legislative districts for partisan gain. The court ordered the legislature to redraw 56 NC House districts and 21 NC Senate districts following strict nonpartisan criteria and in full public view.

This week, the three-judge Wake County Superior Court panel accepted the legislature’s newly drawn districts. Today, Common Cause and other plaintiffs in the case filed a petition asking the NC Supreme Court to immediately review the Superior Court’s approval of eight of the legislature’s newly drawn NC House districts because they continue to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. The districts in question are in two county groupings: Columbus-Pender-Robeson and Forsyth-Yadkin.

The plaintiffs’ brief filed with the NC Supreme Court can be read here.

The redrawn NC House map enacted by the legislature can be seen here.

A nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy, Common Cause NC is lead plaintiff in the case of Common Cause v. Lewis.