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Protestors at a rally to call for 'An End to Partisan Gerrymandering' outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

A panel of federal judges, for the second time this year, struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Monday, condemning it as unconstitutional because Republicans had drawn it to maximize their electoral advantage.

Why it matters: The ruling has raised the possibility of a court-ordered redrawing of new districts before the November elections. And even though primary elections have already been held, the judges concluded that they would not allow future elections to be held using the current voting lines.

The details: The Supreme Court ordered the lower court in June to take another look at the partisan gerrymandering case in the wake of its decision in a similar Wisconsin challenge. The high court urged plaintiffs to prove they have standing in each district in order sue on the grounds of partisan gerrymandering. And now, the North Carolina court said plaintiffs have standing in the case.

What to watch:

  • North Carolina Democrats and voting rights advocates — seeking to invalidate the map that gave Republicans 10 of the 13 U.S. House seats in 2016 with just 53% of the statewide popular vote — believe the case offers clear evidence of direct injury to voting power.
  • Republicans are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court. But with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, election law expert Rick Hasen wrote that an "emergency action could well fail, leaving the lower court opinion in place."
  • But if the General Assembly is ordered to redraw the map, it must do so by Sept. 17, the court said. Both sides have until Friday to weigh in on the possibility of holding congressional primaries again under a new map.

The big picture: A redrawing has the potential to impact the balance of power in the House as Republicans are seeking to maintain control this fall.

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.

Kenosha shooting lawsuit accuses police of coordinating with militia

Police and protesters confront in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse on Aug. 25, 2020. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The only survivor of a fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests last year has accused law enforcement in a lawsuit of conspiring with a "band of white nationalist vigilantes," the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Of note: Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, is due to stand trial on Nov. 1, accused of wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, who filed the suit, and killing two other people protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 25, 2020. He's pleaded not guilty to charges including homicide and attempted homicide and maintains he fired in self-defense.