By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court ruling that required North Carolina to urgently redraw state legislative districts found to have been be mapped out in a way that diluted the electoral clout of black voters.
The high court, with no recorded dissents, sent back the case to a three-judge federal district court panel, which had ruled in November that the state should draw new districts and hold a special election. The Supreme Court in January put that ruling on hold while it decided whether to hear the state's appeal.
The Supreme Court separately left in place an earlier ruling by the same court from last August that said the districts were racial "gerrymanders," with boundaries drawn to diminish the voting power of minorities, and violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)