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3-judge panel rules to allow Republican-drawn N.C. redistricting maps to move forward

The unanimous decision by the three trial judges will be appealed by the advocacy groups and voters who challenged the new congressional and legislative lines in court.
The unanimous decision by the three trial judges will be appealed by the advocacy groups and voters who challenged the new congressional and legislative lines.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:24 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - A North Carolina judicial panel has ruled to allow redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly to move forward, rejecting arguments that the lines were illegally politically stacked for Republicans.

The unanimous decision by the three trial judges, which followed a quick trial last week, will be appealed by the advocacy groups and voters who challenged the new congressional and legislative lines in court.

The state Supreme Court, which is expected to have the final say on the maps, had ordered the trial judges to rule by Tuesday, apparently to discourage further delays in the 2022 election schedule.

The North Carolina Supreme Court had already ruled that all state primary elections must be delayed until May 2022 so state courts can review lawsuits claiming illegal gerrymandering.

N.C. primary elections delayed

The ruling moved the primaries from March 8, 2022 to May 17, 2022. The primary is now pushed back to May 17 for all offices, including legislative seats and seats in the U.S. House and Senate.

Several civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina Legislature’s process for drawing new state House and Senate voting maps.

The lawsuit challenges state legislators’ “refusal to include racial data in its redistricting criteria” in the state before considering map proposals.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.