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What Justice Antonin Scalia's Death Means For North Carolina's Redistricting Case

The death of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has sparked a political battle in Washington.
Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is being remembered as a conservative justice known for his sharp dissents from the bench.

Scalia died Saturday at the age of 79. And his death almost immediately started a political battle in Washington. Senate Republican leaders say they will refuse to vote on a nominee to replace Scalia while President Obama is still in office.

The president says he will offer a nomination in due time. But Scalia's death also raises questions about North Carolina's redistricting case. Earlier this month, a Circuit Court ruled two of the state's Congressional Districts were racially gerrymandered and ordered the legislature to redraw them within two weeks. 

The state has appealed that ruling, and has asked the Supreme Court to stay the decision. But without Scalia on the bench, that decision could be evenly split between the eight sitting justices.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Luke Bierman, Dean of Elon University's School of Law, and Kerry Haynie, political science professor at Duke University, about Scalia's death and its political and legal implications.

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Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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