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Go deeper: Punts on partisan gerrymandering turn attention to N.C.

Demonstrators gather outside of the Supreme Court during an oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford last October. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images
Demonstrators gather outside of the Supreme Court during oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford last October. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to sidestep what could have been a landmark challenge to partisan gerrymandering, citing procedural faults, has drawn attention to a case over North Carolina's GOP-gerrymandered congressional map, which legal experts believe offers clear evidence of direct injury to voting power.

The backdrop: Since its 1986 ruling that maps drawn by lawmakers can be unconstitutional when they “consistently degrade a voter's or a group of voters' influence on the political process,” the high court has never struck down one on the grounds of partisan gerrymandering. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote on Monday that plaintiffs in a case from Wisconsin lacked legal standing because the statewide challenge failed to prove their voting power had been diminished.