RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina trial court has rejected state legislative district maps, saying lawmakers took extreme advantage from drawing districts to help elect a maximum number of Republicans.
The three-judge panel of state judges ruled Tuesday that courts can step in to decide when partisan advantage goes so far it diminishes democracy.
Republicans argued there's no clear way for judges to know what kinds of redistricting are unacceptable. Democrats and their allies said the districts were so gerrymandered they unconstitutionally insulated politicians from changing voting behavior.
Common Cause and other plaintiffs asked the court to order half the House districts and 21 of 50 Senate maps redrawn quickly.
An appeal is expected and the outcome could be months away. The state Supreme Court's composition is 6-1 in favor of Democrats.