Court fight starts over North Carolina districts
RALEIGH -- Did Republicans illegally draw new boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional seats in late 2011 to gain more power?
Critics say they did. Now, they're making their case in court. Two days of court hearings on a pair of redistricting lawsuits began Monday in Raleigh.
Democratic voters and civil rights and election advocates want three judges hearing the case to declare the maps unconstitutional. They say Republican lawmakers illegally packed black voters into districts, split voting precincts and failed to keep whole counties within districts.
Attorneys for GOP legislative leaders and the state want the lawsuits thrown out. They say federal laws and court cases require majority-black districts whenever feasible.
Oral arguments had been delayed while the state Supreme Court ruled on which documents attorneys were required to release.
Associated Press reporter Gary D. Robertson contributed to this report
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