CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 12 (UPI) — A three-member panel of federal judges declared many of North Carolina’s legislative districts unconstitutional because they were too heavily divided by race.
The districts were redrawn in 2011 and the panel found 28 of the districts — mostly in the eastern part of the state — were drawn based mostly on race. The panel said it was too late for the state General Assembly to redraw those districts before the November election.
“Race was the predominant factor motivating the drawing of all the challenged districts,” noted the panel in the 167-page opinion.
According to the ruling, state legislators must redraw district boundaries during their next legislative session, beginning in January.
The ruling is the latest judicial push back against voting and election laws passed by the Republican-controlled legislature since 2011.
A three-judge panel ruled in February two of the state’s Congressional districts had been racially gerrymandered, forcing a redrawing of all 13 Congressional districts in time for a June primary election. They will also be in place for November.