Lawsuit Alleges Legislative Districts Unconstitutional

A group of Republican voters in North Carolina wants state House and Senate districts redrawn in time for the 2008 primaries.

The group argues in a federal lawsuit that the districts are unconstitutional.

The suit comes after a state Supreme Court ruling in August that said the General Assembly improperly split up Pender County between two House districts. The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, cites the Pender County ruling.

The lawsuit names state Board of Elections Director Gary Bartlett, Attorney General Roy Cooper and board of elections members as defendants. Greensboro lawyer Bob Hunter, who has been involved in many redistricting battles, filed the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that that several House and Senate districts do not meet the standard of the federal Voting Rights Act because they dilute minority voting power. The suit names about 20 counties where the districts in dispute are located.