Partisan gerrymandering arguments in N Carolina map on trial

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Redistricting practices of North Carolina Republicans are getting scrutinized yet again in court, this time over whether mapmakers can go too far drawing boundaries that favor their party.

Federal judges convene a trial Monday in Greensboro over litigation filed by election advocacy groups, the state Democratic Party and voters who allege unlawful partisan gerrymandering in the state’s congressional map. A similar case in Wisconsin was heard earlier this month by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Several lawsuits this decade challenging districts drawn by the GOP-dominated General Assembly focused on alleged racial gerrymandering.

These plaintiffs argue the districts are so uncompetitive they violate the constitutional rights of voters whose partisan viewpoints are in the minority. Attorneys for GOP leaders defend the map and say courts should avoid deciding what constitutes partisan imbalance.