Federal district court judges found that in 2011, lawmakers in North Carolina unconstitutionally relied on race when drawing legislative boundaries for members of the state House and state Senate. The judges also announced, unfortunately, that there was insufficient time to rectify the situation before the 2016 election.
However, WRAL reports that the North Carolina lawmakers have been ordered to redraw their legislative districts by March 15, 2017, and hold new elections in the fall of next year. The court also ruled, according to Reuters, that state lawmakers who were elected in 2016 will serve for just one year instead of two to help offset the effects that gerrymandering had on voters this year.
The judges’ order explained that the lawmakers had plenty of time to follow through with redrawing the districts — seven months from the time the districts were deemed unconstitutional.
The judges’ ruling is already on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court is also hearing a similar gerrymandering lawsuit regarding North Carolina’s congressional districts next week.