After a federal court in North Carolina v. Covington (2018) ruled that two of North Carolina's 2011 legislative districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, the state enacted remedial legislative districts in 2017. On February 21, 2018, a coalition of nonprofit organizations and North Carolinian voters filed a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina, the N.C. State board of Elections, and various state legislators, challenging four of the remedial legislative districts as violating the N.C. Constitution. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the General Assembly's changes to the four challenged districts, which were not themselves ruled to be racial gerrymanders, were not necessary to comply with the Covington court's remedial order, and therefore in changing them the General Assembly violated the N.C. Constitution's prohibition on mid-decade redistricting. The plaintiffs requested that the court issue injunctive relief barring the defendants from giving any effect to the challenged portions of the 2017 remedial legislative plans and requiring the state to enact a revised redistricting plan that restored the challenged districts to their 2011 configurations.

On May 1, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment, and on November 2, 2018, the Superior Court granted the motion, finding that the changes to the challenged districts were not necessary to comply with federal law and, as a result, those districts violated the state constitution's prohibition on mid-decade redistricting. The court ordered the General Assembly to remedy the identified defects and enact a new legislative districts map for use in the 2020 general election by either the adjournment of their next regular session of the General Assembly, or by July 1, 2019, whichever was earlier.


North Carolina Superior Court, Wake County - No. 18-cvs-2322