Harper v. Lewis

19 CVS 012667 (2019)

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Harper v. Lewis

North Carolina Superior Court
19 CVS 012667 (2019)

Facts

The legislative district map for North Carolina, originally drawn in 2011, was struck down as racially gerrymandered. Pursuant to a court order, the North Carolina General Assembly’s redistricting committee, led by Representative David Lewis (defendant), redrew the map in 2016. The 2016 map was purposefully redrawn on partisan lines to ensure that Republicans remained in power. A group of North Carolina voters, led by Rebecca Harper (collectively, Harper) (plaintiffs) sued Lewis, arguing that the 2016 map’s extreme partisan gerrymandering violated the North Carolina Constitution. Specifically, Harper argued that the map violated the free-elections clause, the equal-protection clause, the freedom-of-speech clause, and the freedom-of-assembly clause. Harper sought a preliminary injunction barring the 2016 map from being used in the upcoming 2020 election. Lewis challenged, arguing that Harper’s partisan-gerrymandering claim was a nonjusticiable political question. Lewis conceded that the 2016 redistricting map was the product of partisan gerrymandering but argued that partisan gerrymandering, unlike racial gerrymandering, was permissible.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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