In this photo taken April 4, 2017, the Supreme Court Building is seen in Washington. The Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina Monday, May 22, 2017, because race played too large a role in their creation, a decision voting rights advocates said would boost challenges in other states. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

High court ruling may give voter rights groups a strong tool

May 23, 2017 - 4:25 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Voting-rights advocates are hoping that a Supreme Court ruling against two North Carolina congressional districts helps them argue cases of improperly drawn electoral maps elsewhere.

Because those districts were already redrawn for the 2016 election, the ruling doesn't require immediate changes from North Carolina. But it looms large in other battles still unfolding over voting districts there and elsewhere.

Also pending before the high court are separate challenges to state House and Senate districts that have helped the GOP cement veto-proof majorities in both chambers. Meanwhile, further challenges to North Carolina's current congressional districts are pending.

Marc Elias is the lawyer who argued the North Carolina case decided Monday. He said the ruling will serve as a warning to Republicans elsewhere about improperly using race to draw electoral districts.

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Sherman reported from Washington.

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