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NC Lawmakers Back To Begin New Congress Map

In this July 26, 2017 photo, a member of the gallery tries to display her sign while lawmakers convene during a joint select committee meeting on redistricting in Raleigh, N.C.
Gerry Broome

Updated at 4:10 p.m.

North Carolina legislators have started the process of redrawing the state's current congressional map after state judges last week blocked its use because they said there was evidence of likely excessive partisan bias in those districts. A House-Senate committee held its first meeting on Tuesday.

In a lawsuit challenging the current maps, the court granted a preliminary injunction blocking their use in 2020. That indicates the court was likely to find the Republican-controlled legislature unconstitutionally manipulated the district lines with extreme partisan bias - as they did with the state's legislative maps.

But Republican Senator Ralph Hise says the process for redrawing the 13 congressional districts will be different.

"These congressional maps are complex and take a lot of work from the General Assembly, and it's not the plug-and-chug version we could deal with in the legislative maps,” Hise said.

New district lines need to be in place by December 15th to avoid pushing back the March primaries. Meanwhile, some voters have sued in federal court to try to keep the current map in place for the 2020 elections.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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