North Carolina v. Covington

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Election Law
  • Date Filed: June 5, 2017
  • Case #: No. 16-1023
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curium

In evaluating racial gerrymandering determinations in the context of special elections, courts must apply a particularized analysis that takes into account the "balance of equities."

The North Carolina General Assembly redrew state legislative districts in 2011 to account for population changes revealed by the 2010 census. The district court determined that the redistricting was racial gerrymandering and ordered a deadline to redraw the districts following the 2016 general election, and to hold a special election for the sitting legislators in the new districts. The district court also ordered the suspension of state constitutional requirements that the candidates for the special elections be residents of the state for at least one year prior to the election. The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the district court did not apply the required equitable analysis, pursuant to Supreme Court precedent. The Court noted that a "cursory" analysis is not enough to meet the standard. VACATED and REMANDED.


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