Filed Date: Oct. 14, 2019
Closed Date: Dec. 2, 2019
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On September 27, 2019, a group of North Carolina voters filed a lawsuit against members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections and various state legislators in North Carolina's Superior Court for Wake County. Plaintiffs alleged that the state's 2016 congressional redistricting plan was an unconstitutional gerrymander in violation of the Free Elections Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association Clauses of the North Carolina Constitution.
Plaintiffs argued that the 2016 map was drawn with the express intent to maximize Republican advantage. Plaintiffs asked the Superior Court to declare the map unconstitutional and enjoin the state from using it in the 2020 primary and general elections. On October 14, 2019, defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina but the District Court remanded the case back to the Superior Court a week later.
On October 28, 2019, the Superior Court granted the motion for a preliminary injunction barring the state from using the map in the 2020 primary and general elections. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on October 31, 2019. The North Carolina General Assembly passed a new congressional redistricting plan on its own initiative on November 15, 2019, circumventing the litigation. On December 2, 2019, the Superior Court lifted its preliminary injunction and allowed the 2020 congressional elections to proceed under the new redistricting plan.
On November 5, 2021, plaintiffs filed a motion to file a supplemental complaint and a supplemental complaint challenging the new congressional redistricting plan on the same grounds that they had challenged the 2016 plan. While awaiting a decision on whether the supplemental complaint would be allowed, on November 18, 2021, plaintiffs filed a parallel lawsuit, Harper v. Hall 868 S.E.2d 499 (2022), that was substantively identical to the supplemental complaint. Litigation of the 2021 map proceeded under that lawsuit and on December 1, 2021, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the supplemental complaint and the claims therein.
Anna Lennon (12/24/2022)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16329573/harper-v-lewis/
Last updated March 21, 2023, 3 a.m.
State / Territory: North Carolina
Filing Date: Oct. 14, 2019
Closing Date: Dec. 2, 2019
Case Ongoing: No
North Carolina voters.
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
House Standing Committee on Redistricting, State
Senate Standing Committee on Redistricting, State
North Carolina State Board of Elections, State
North Carolina House of Representatives, State
Causes of Action:
Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief
Prevailing Party: Mixed
Nature of Relief:
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief:
Content of Injunction: