by Paul Blest
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether North Carolina's 2011 Congressional redistricting plan violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing district boundaries.Earlier this year, the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the old maps and forced the Republicans to redraw them and hold a new primary; the Supreme Court, days after Antonin Scalia's death, denied the state a stay. The new map looks a lot better, but still preserves the Republican Congressional majority of 10-3, in a swing state that is expected to be one of the most competitive in November.
Orders released Monday — the high court's last official meeting day of the term — said the justices will take up the redistricting struck down by a lower court in a 2-1 ruling in February of this year.
That same month, the shorthanded, eight-justice Supreme Court refused to step in to relieve the state's obligation to redraw the boundaries. The denial of the stay was one of the court's first official actions following the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Five justices are needed to grant such a stay, but only four are needed to add a case to the court's docket.