State Court Docket Watch: Harper v. Hall

By: Andrew Pardue and Andrew D. Watkins

The Federalist Society - State Court Docket

In its 2019 decision in Rucho v. Common Cause, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on federal justiciability of partisan gerrymandering claims.[1] At the same time, however, it all but invited state courts to attempt to resolve redistricting questions on their own, noting that “[p]rovisions in state statutes and state constitutions can provide standards and guidance for state courts to apply.”[2] In response, state courts are increasingly wading into politically dicey waters to address partisan gerrymandering claims predicated solely on state law, but that present many of the same justiciability questions as previous federal lawsuits. A signal example of this phenomenon arose earlier this year in Harper v. Hall, where the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down the new state legislative and congressional district maps enacted by the General Assembly based upon its interpretation of several state constitutional provisions.[3]

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