Skip to content
Subscriber Only

North Carolina Mismanaged Itself Into Electoral Chaos

Years of GOP tinkering have left the state’s congressional maps in legal limbo.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Photographer: Shawn Rocco/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 18 decision to pause a nine-day-old federal court ruling against North Carolina’s congressional map was the latest turn in a legal war that has made the state’s electoral system the most chaotic in the U.S. 

The temporary stay is part of a wider, national challenge to the kind of political gerrymandering that has helped breed hyperpartisanship across the country. The Supreme Court gave North Carolina a reprieve while it considers partisan gerrymandering cases in Wisconsin and Maryland, with decisions expected in May or June. In Pennsylvania the state Supreme Court rejected partisan congressional maps on Jan. 22.