So what happens now? And what's it mean to you?
Well, much of it remains up in the air as the ruling is expected to once again, be appealed to the US Supreme Court. However, the new ruling lays out three possible remedies:
- The court says the General Assembly, or an outside expert, could re-draw the districts by mid-September to be in effect for the fall elections.
- Redrawing the districts before November and holding a general election without a primary.
- Redrawing the districts, holding a primary in November and then a special general election in December.
Election advocacy groups and Democrats who sued are applauding the new ruling. State Republican leaders are blasting it and dismissing the possibility of changing the election at this point.
A key point to remember is that the ruling applies to federal congressional districts, not state legislative districts.
North Carolina is one of three states that had partisan redistricting cases reach the U.S. Supreme Court this year. The High Court sent all three back to lower courts for further hearings.