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Story highlights

Federal judges ordered congressional districts in North Carolina to be redrawn

A three-judge panel ruled that the map unconstitutionally favored Republicans

(CNN) —  

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper railed against gerrymandering in his home state Thursday after federal judges said this week that congressional districts would have to be redrawn because they were unconstitutionally partisan.

“Why do we have a supermajority of Republicans in our state legislature and why do we have 10 members of Congress who are Republican and three who are Democratic?” said Cooper, a Democrat, on CNN’s “New Day.” “It’s because of technologically diabolical gerrymandering, the redistricting that this Republican legislature has put into place.”

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel rejected the previous map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment and Article I of the Constitution.

The judges gave the state about three weeks to file a new plan with the court so it will be in place before the 2018 midterms. The opinion is the first federal court ruling to strike down a congressional map as representing a partisan gerrymander.

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.