Trial court upholds legislative maps, draws new congressional lines

The congressional map drawn by special masters in North Carolina's combined redistricting cases.

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s political maps are changing – again.

Following the recommendation of special masters, a three-judge panel approved two of the three maps drawn by the General Assembly last week. But instead of approving a map with as many as four competitively-drawn seats, the special masters opted to draw its own congressional lines.

The new map scrambles those seeking office yet again as filing is scheduled to resume on Thursday, Feb. 24.

Appeals of the maps, due to the N.C. Supreme Court by 5 p.m., could scramble the state’s political lines yet again.

Already, Gov. Roy Cooper has called on the Supreme Court to reject the state Senate map. The N.C. Senate’s map utilizes data that shows 25 of the 50 districts would have been won by Gov. Roy Cooper based on 2020 election results.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) released a statement saying the legislative defendants would appeal the trial court’s decision.

“Today’s ruling is nothing short of egregious. The trial court’s decision to impose a map drawn by anyone other than the legislature is simply unconstitutional and an affront to every North Carolina voter whose representation would be determined by unelected, partisan activists,” Moore said in a statement.