WRAL: Plaintiffs ask court to speed up new NC voting maps
Nearly two months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally gerrymandered dozens of legislative districts based on race, the General Assembly still hasn’t drawn new maps. In fact, a three-judge panel will meet on Thursday to decide whether to force lawmakers into action. The General Assembly is in no rush to redraw the maps, and North Carolinians are fighting back. We deserve fair maps.
Plaintiffs who successfully challenged the legality of North Carolina's legislative districts are asking federal judges to require lawmakers to draw new maps by Aug. 11 and to hold new elections in March, before the next regularly scheduled session of the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs say, state lawmakers lost their authority to pass bills or override vetoes after June 30, when the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the state's voting districts are unconstitutional went into effect.
Those arguments are part of the latest filing in the Covington v. North Carolina case, scheduled for a hearing Thursday in a federal courtroom in Greensboro. The three-judge panel that declared the maps unconstitutional last year and ordered lawmakers to draw new ones will now hear arguments about how quickly the process should happen.
Attorneys representing the state and legislative leaders have proposed a Nov. 15 deadline to pass new state House and Senate districts and submit them to the court for review. They argue that the process is required to include public hearings and feedback.