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N Carolina trial into partisan gerrymandering wrapping up

Posted at 6:48 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 12:55:12-04

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A three-judge North Carolina panel is considering whether politicians can be too extreme in drawing voting districts to their advantage, a judgment the U.S. Supreme Court refused to make.

The judges will start deliberating after the two-week trial wraps up Friday. Whatever they decide, an appeal is likely.

At issue is whether legislative districts redrawn in 2017 to address racial bias violate the state constitution because they so favor Republicans that elections were largely predetermined.

An expert for the Republicans, Brigham Young University political scientist Michael Barber, testified that Democrats promote unintentional gerrymandering by clustering around cities in the largely rural state.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a separate case involving North Carolina’s congressional map that federal courts shouldn’t decide if boundaries are politically unfair, but state courts can.