Wilmington Star News

This issue isn’t settled. The U.S. Supreme Court still has to be heard from. Still, the ruling last week by a three-judge federal appeals panel voiding North Carolina’s congressional districts marks a victory for democracy and the power of the individual voter.

Previous court rulings had voided two of the U.S. House districts, finding that they discriminated against African-American voters. For the first time, however, a court found that gerrymandering, in and of itself, is not just unfair but unconstitutional. The 4th Circuit judges’ reasoning is sound and deserves to be considered.

The U.S. Supreme Court already has heard a similar case from Wisconsin, where Democrats challenged a legislative map drawn by the state’s Republican leaders. A decision is forthcoming. The court also has agreed to hear a case from Maryland, in which Republicans say the dominant Democrats drew an unconstitutional congressional district.