It comes from a pair of cases from liberal-leaning groups challenging the new congressional and state House maps as partisan gerrymanders that violate the state’s constitution.
The state Supreme Court ordered that lower courts “hold proceedings necessary to reach a rule on the merits” of the claims by Jan. 11, and for an expedited appeals process in front of the state Supreme Court for the lower courts’ decisions to make way for the later primary.
Long, litigious history of redraws: North Carolina is no stranger to court-ordered redraws of political boundaries. The state’s congressional districts were redrawn three times throughout the last decade, with the latter two redraws coming via court order.
The challenged congressional maps would likely lock in Republican dominance in the state’s federal delegation. Of the state’s 14 new districts, only two had a presidential margin within 10 points in 2020. Republicans would hold nine fairly safe red seats, and Democrats would be squeezed into two overwhelming blue districts, with the two competitive seats up for grabs.
Both parties have contested primaries for the Senate seat currently held by retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr. Those races will also be delayed until May.