Proposed N.C. Congressional Map Sets Up Incumbent Showdown

Much of Holding's current district would move into another. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Republicans are gearing up for a showdown between 13th District Rep. George Holding and 2nd District Rep. Renee Ellmers as a result of a proposed new congressional map the General Assembly approved Friday.

"Nobody's too thrilled about a primary, but that's the democratic way," Carter Wrenn, a consultant working for the Holding campaign, told  The Raleigh News and Observer

Scalia's Death Adds More Uncertainty to North Carolina Elections

Ellmers faces a competitive March 15 primary that may be delayed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Primary day is less than a month away in North Carolina, home to two of this cycle's more competitive Republican House primaries. A court order to redraw the state's map by Friday had already thrown into question the March 15 primary, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death this weekend is adding extra uncertainty to when the state's congressional elections will take place.  

The General Assembly's joint legislative redistricting committee held public hearings Monday to discuss how to draw a new map, and on Tuesday, the committee agreed that race would not be considered when revising districts. The joint redistricting committee also agreed to maintain the current partisan split: Republicans control 10 congressional seats and Democrats control three. A map proposal isn't expected until Wednesday, on which the full General Assembly would then vote on Thursday and Friday in a special session.  

Redistricting Case Could Delay North Carolina's Primary

Ellmers faces a March 15 primary, but there's now speculation that will be pushed back because of redistricting litigation in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By moving up all its primaries from May to March 15, North Carolina thought it would be playing a more pivotal role in this year's presidential election. But a recent federal court ruling invalidating two of the state's congressional districts threatens to delay this year's earlier-than-normal primary and upend elections in which early voting is already under way.  

A three-judge panel ruled on Feb. 5 that the GOP-legislature relied too heavily on race in 2011 to draw the 1st and 12th Districts. The court gave the state until Feb. 19 to draw new districts, and on Tuesday, the same court denied a request from the state to stay its decision.  

Obama Tries to Build Bipartisan Redistricting Momentum

Obama called for bipartisan groups to take over redistricting during his final State of the Union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Calling for a systematic change to American politics in Tuesday's State of the Union, President Barack Obama gave a somewhat surprising shout-out to bipartisan redistricting reform.  

“I think we've got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around," he said, before going off script to add, "Let a bipartisan group do it."  

North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Map

Rep. Alma Adams represents one of the districts that challengers to the current map most often say is gerrymandered. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a defeat for North Carolina Democrats, who hold just three of the states's 11 congressional seats, the state Supreme Court upheld the state's current congressional and legislative map Friday.  

The court found that the GOP legislature did not illegally consider race when  drawing the district lines in 2011. Democrats had been hoping that a ruling against the current map would help them pick up another seat in a redraw.  

Democrats Interested in Virginia's Fuzzy 4th District Bide Their Time

Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Calls to political operatives on both sides of the aisle about Virginia's congressional redistricting yield a similar response: uncertainty and confusion.  

"I've told my members to sit tight and see where this thing goes with the courts," 4th District Democratic Committee Chair Susan Rowland told Roll Call.  Two Democrats — state Rep. Donald McEachin and Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney — have expressed interest in running should the district become more Democratic because of redistricting.  

Special Master Offers Alternative Virginia Congressional Maps

Scott's 3rd District is being redrawn after a court ruled the state legislature had drawn the lines to dilute African-Americans' influence. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Days after the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal to a lower court's decision tossing out Virginia's 3rd Congressional District boundaries, a special master appointed by the lower court released two proposals to remedy the state's map Tuesday.  

University of California, Irvine, political science professor Bernard Grofman, whom a federal three-judge panel appointed as the special master earlier this fall after the state's General Assembly failed to agree upon a new map, rejected the eight existing map proposals.  

Supreme Court to Hear Virginia Redistricting Case


The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal to a lower court's ruling that Virginia's GOP-controlled legislature illegally packed blacks into the 3rd Congressional District when they drew new lines in 2012.

3 States Still Have Fuzzy District Lines for 2016

A court-appointed special master is currently redrawing Virginia's congressional map to address Scott's 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The filing deadline to run in North Carolina's primaries is less than a month away. But with a redistricting case still outstanding, anyone interested in running for Congress can't know for sure what district they'll find themselves in.  

The boundaries of the 1st and 12th districts have been challenged on the grounds that the GOP legislature packed too many black voters into those districts when they drew them in 2011.  

Florida District Lines in Limbo as Court Ruling Awaited

Brown, who has served 12 terms in Congress, says she will take her issues with the new map to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida State Supreme Court heard arguments over a new congressional map on Tuesday, but has yet to make a final decision on what the lines for the Sunshine State's 27 House districts will look like.  

The oral arguments were the final step before the state Supreme Court rules in a years-long litigious battle over the district lines. Whatever map the court ultimately chooses will likely be used for the 2016 elections.