A panel of three federal judges has ordered North Carolina to redraw its Congressional district boundaries immediately, saying the current version is unconstitutional.
The map, drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly, is said to be gerrymandered to benefit Republicans, who control the state’s General Assembly.
The judges argue that the current map violates Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause, CNN reports.
Republicans plan to appeal the decision.
4th US Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James A. Wynn wrote the majority opinion.
“Partisan gerrymandering runs contrary to numerous fundamental democratic principles and individual rights,” Wynn wrote.
Both the North Carolina Republican and Democratic parties have commented on the decision.
“This is a hostile takeover of the #NCGA and legislative bodies across the US,” North Carolina GOP executive director Brad Woodhouse tweeted. “It is incredibly disappointing activist Judge Jim Wynn is waging a personal, partisan war on North Carolina Republicans.”
“Today’s ruling is a major victory for North Carolina and people across the state whose voices were silenced by Republicans’ unconstitutional attempts to rig the system to their partisan advantage,” Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said. “He called on the legislature to draw “fair, nonpartisan maps that give North Carolina voters a voice.”
North Carolina has 13 seats in the House of Representatives. 10 are held by Republicans.