On Friday the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision along party lines striking down the state’s new political district maps. In an order authored by Democratic Justice Robin Hudson, the court found the Republican-drawn maps, which would have heavily favored Republicans in both U.S. Congressional and state legislative races, violated the North Carolina State Constitution – specifically “the free elections clause, the equal protection clause, the free speech clause, and the freedom of assembly clause.” The court ruled that the NCGA and plaintiffs will have until February 18 to submit proposed remedial maps to the trial court that previously heard the case, and that the trial court will then “approve or adopt” compliant new maps by February 23, one day before candidate filing for the already delayed primaries is set to begin.
Health Care Policy
“North Carolina women can now get hormonal birth control without a doctor’s prescription — a change that will give millions of women easier access to some of the most common contraceptives that prevent pregnancy. Under a new law, passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina joins more than a dozen other states in allowing pharmacists to dispense birth control pills and patches without the signature of a patient’s physician.”