On Monday, a panel of three North Carolina state judges blocked the current GOP-drawn congressional map from being used for the 2020 elections, ruling it a partisan gerrymander that violates the state constitution. A new map would be the third for the state this decade, and could give Democrats several more seats - a bigger game-changer than any one GOP retirement. The GOP-aligned group Fair Lines America Foundation is funding an appeal in federal court, but Republican state legislative leaders are planning to meet in mid-November to consider a replacement map. Right now, the filing period for the March 3 primary is set to open on December 2, but the calendar could get pushed back as it was in 2016 if legislators can't reach agreement. In 2016, Republican state Rep. David Lewis infamously declared that he and other GOP legislators drew a 10-3 Republican map because he couldn't find a way to draw one with 11 GOP seats. But Lewis's intention wasn't to boast; it was to make clear his party's intentions were partisan and not racial after federal courts
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