Federal panel strikes down N. Carolina legislative districts

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal judges have struck down nearly 30 North Carolina House and Senate districts as illegal racial gerrymanders but will allow state legislative elections to be held using them this fall.

Thursday’s decision comes six months after another panel struck down North Carolina’s congressional districts for similar reasons. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether Republican lawmakers relied too heavily on race when they redrew North Carolina’s congressional districts to give the GOP a powerful advantage in the swing state.

Thursday’s ruling is yet another blow to the state GOP, which has seen several laws it enacted either partially or wholly overturned by the federal courts.

Writing for the panel in Thursday’s ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge James Wynn said the November election can use the current districts to prevent any confusion for voters.