A group of Black and Latino North Carolina voters filed a lawsuit on Monday against the state’s new congressional map, alleging it “intentionally discriminates against minority voters.”
North Carolina Republican state lawmakers approved the new Congressional map in October. It could potentially flip multiple U.S. House seats in their party’s favor.
The new map alters the lines for North Carolina’s 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which are currently evenly split.
Upon its release, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee called it “one of the most gerrymandered maps in the country.”
The lawsuit filed Monday—the same day that the candidate filing period opened for the 2024 election in North Carolina—asserts that the map is illegal and a violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments, intentionally drawn to “minimize minority voting strength and dismantle existing minority opportunity districts across the state.”
The plaintiffs claim that at in the drawing of at least four congressional districts “race was the predominant factor.” They are asking a three-judge panel to grant an injunction that would prevent elections based on the new map.
One of the named defendants, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R) who is running for Congress in the newly drawn 14th District—one of the districts targeted in the plaintiffs’ suit—has called the lawsuit “a desperate attempt to throw chaos into North Carolina’s elections.”
This past September the U.S. Supreme Court shot down for a second time Alabama Republican lawmakers’ attempts to draw maps that marginalized that state’s Black voters. In November panel of Alabama District Court judges chose a new map—with two, rather than one, Black-majority Congressional districts—from among three submitted by court-appointed experts.
Legal challenges to congressional maps are also ongoing in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.