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Vox Sentences: South Africa to withdraw, North Carolina to redraw

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A federal court makes a decision that will shape the general election; South Africa withdraws its controversial expropriation bill.

North Carolina ordered to un-gerrymander

Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • A federal court ruled on Monday that North Carolina’s entire congressional map had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit the Republican Party. The court has given lawmakers two days to propose redrawn district lines, a move that will undoubtedly shape the November election. [Reuters / Jon Herskovitz]
  • This is the second time a federal court ruled that North Carolina’s partisan gerrymandering was unconstitutional. But in June, the Supreme Court declined to make a formal ruling and instead sent the case back to the federal courts because the plaintiffs needed to adjust the basis for their argument. [Politico / Josh Gerstein]
  • The three federal judges came to the same conclusion and said that the plaintiffs, a slew of voting rights advocacy groups and North Carolina residents, had viable legal standing. [NYT / Michael Wines and Richard Fausset]
  • Two of North Carolina’s top legislators have called on the Supreme Court to halt the ruling. They claim that the decision “would irreparably disrupt campaigns from both major parties.” [Charlotte Observer / Will Doran]
  • Republican legislators from North Carolina have openly admitted, however, that they’ve gerrymandered districts based on party. They don’t believe that’s illegal, though. [YouTube / Common Cause NC]
  • The partisan gerrymandering was actually a result of another court ruling from February 2016 that said legislators had racially gerrymandered congressional districts. [Splinter / Sophie Weiner]
  • It’s clear that this ruling will change the course of North Carolina’s 2018 elections. But it may not be as favorable to Democrats as some anticipate it will be. [Washington Post / Amber Phillips]

Trump tweets, South Africa withdraws

  • The African National Congress (ANC) announced on Tuesday that the South African parliament has withdrawn a land expropriation bill that would allow the government to seize land purchases in order to compensate for racial disparities in the country. [Reuters]
  • The announcement comes after President Trump falsely painted the bill as a “genocidal campaign against white farmers” in a tweet from last Wednesday. [NYT / Kimon de Greef and Palko Karasz]
  • In the wake of the announcement, the rand, South Africa’s currency, surged in value. Nevertheless, the withdrawal is mostly “procedural” and does not signify a major change in policy. [Bloomberg / Ana Monteiro and Michael Cohen]
  • The withdrawal of the bill doesn’t mean that South Africa will end its campaign to amend racial disparities within land ownership. Instead, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is looking into changing the country’s constitution to allow land seizures without compensation. [The Hill / Tal Axelrod]
  • Land expropriation is a step toward fixing South Africa’s long and racist history. After 50 years of apartheid, when black people were strictly segregated and institutionally discriminated against, 90 percent of the country’s land was owned by white people. By 2017, that figure has only decreased by 18 percent. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]


  • Louis C.K. made his first professional appearance since admitting to multiple instances of sexual misconduct in a surprise performance at the Comedy Cellar in New York. He was greeted with a standing ovation. [The Atlantic / Megan Garber]
  • A live stream of 2018’s Burning Man Festival is running until the outlandish gathering comes to a close on September 3. Bear witness to trips, sandstorms, and the torching of art installations on Nevada’s Playa. [SF Gate / Amy Graff]
  • A new study finds that it’s highly unlikely for a person to have more than 150 acquaintances at any given time, despite the creation of social media. [Scientific American / Mark Fischetti and Jen Christiansen]
  • Jemele Hill, an accomplished sports journalist and outspoken Trump adversary, has reportedly accepted ESPN’s offer to buy out her contract and will exit the network. [Bleacher Report / Joseph Zucker]


“If, after all this acrimony, Trump had said something positive about McCain, it would have rung hollow. But messing with the flag that flies above the White House was different. The flag represents the United States and the office of the Presidency, not Trump personally.” [John Cassidy on President Trump’s penchant for pettiness / New Yorker]

Watch this: How ID laws can put trans people in danger

There’s a trans murder crisis across the country. [YouTube / Ranjani Chakraborty, Lucas Waldron, and Mallory Brangan]

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