GOP appeal seeks to curb state court power over U.S. House map

Republican lawmakers in the state of North Carolina have requested that the United States Supreme Court put a limit on the powers of state courts to intervene in the process of drawing congressional districts.

The effort is not expected to alter the maps for the current election cycle as the justices allowed the state to implement the maps approved by state courts in 2022 as litigation is still ongoing. 

The petition newly filed on Thursday by North Carolina GOP legislators acknowledges that the 2022 maps are set for this year, but it suggests that the larger issue at hand should be decided prior to the 2024 elections.

In the filing, the legislators argue that the state’s Supreme Court overstepped the bounds of its authority when it shot down a congressional map made by legislators but allowed the implementation of districts drawn out by court-appointed experts.

According to the filing, the U.S. Constitution only affords state legislatures, not state courts, the ability to oversee federal elections and create congressional maps.

“The U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: state legislatures are responsible for drawing congressional maps, not state court judges,” said North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore in a statement. Still, voters and advocacy groups who went against the Republican leaders over the maps have pointed to Past U.S. Supreme Court rulings and other federal laws that give state courts remedial power over redistricting.

Earlier in March, the high court handed down separate rulings that permitted North Carolina as well as Pennsylvania to go ahead with 2022 elections under court-ordered maps.

At the time those rulings were delivered, four conservative justices did say they believe the court should consider, at a later time, the amount of power state courts should have to intervene in the drawing of congressional maps.




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