Another NC redistricting lawsuit filed in Raleigh

redistricting map

November 4, 2011 10:25:13 AM PDT
A second legal challenge to new maps for North Carolina's legislative and congressional seats says the boundaries go beyond what the law requires to protect black voters and actually harms them.

Lawyers for four community groups and 27 registered voters sued Friday in Wake County Superior Court. They want a three-judge panel to strike down the maps and tell the Republican-led majority in the Legislature to try again so that they comply with the state and federal constitutions.

Friday's plaintiffs said the GOP redistricting maps are what they call an "intentional and cynical use of race" that harms minorities and divides their communities.

"We are suing the Speaker of the House, the leader of the Senate, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger, they helped pass the redistricting maps that were drawn out by outside consultants tasked with coming up with a system of disenfranchising and diluting the voting effectiveness of North Carolina's racial minorities," NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber said.

It is the second redistricting lawsuit filed in the last 24 hours.

A lawsuit filed Thursday by Democratic elected officials and voters argued the boundaries illegally cluster black voters, split voting precincts needlessly and cross too many county lines.

"It has been with great dismay that we have witnessed the partisan posturing and manipulation that has dominated this redistricting process," said Jo Nicholas, president of the League of Women Voters. "The only people who will benefit from these plans are the very politicians who drew them."

However, supporters of the redistricting have said the claims are not true, and pointed to the fact that if they were, the justice department would not have approved the new maps.

'Their arguments are very weak, and very unsupported and at this time we feel very confident that the courts will look at this and dismiss them on outright fact based on the decision from the justice department," Sen. Bob Rucho said.

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