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Federal judges consolidate two NC redistricting cases

Federal judges have agreed to consolidate two lawsuits challenging North Carolina's new election maps, despite opposition from plaintiffs in both cases. The consolidation was requested by state legislative leaders to streamline litigation.

The same three-judge panel will hear both cases, consisting of Appeals Court Judge Allison Jones Rushing and District Judges Richard Myers and Thomas Schroeder. The order cites common issues of fact and law and aims to promote judicial economy. The consolidation comes amid arguments from lawmakers that relief for plaintiffs would lead to unconstitutional racial gerrymandering and could disrupt the 2024 elections.

Plaintiffs in the consolidated cases argue against consolidation, claiming significant differences in scope and substance between the cases. The lawsuits challenge the redrawing of congressional and state legislative district maps, alleging racial gerrymandering that diminishes Black voters' influence.

The consolidation affects two lawsuits in the Middle District, while a third lawsuit in the Eastern District remains unaffected.

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