Court rejects request for stay on ruling that threw out NC district map

Court rejects request for stay on ruling that threw out NC district map
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A three-judge district court on Tuesday rejected North Carolina lawmakers’ request for a stay on a ruling that found the state’s congressional map was unconstitutional.

Judges James Wynn, William Osteen and W. Earl Britt of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled that the lawmakers had failed to meet the “heavy burden” required to stay the order.

They found that the lawmakers' "motion does not dispute this court’s unanimous conclusions" that the map had resulted in partisan gerrymandering and must be redrawn.

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The judges also found that staying the ruling would not injure the lawmakers, but “would substantially injure — indeed irreparably harm — Plaintiffs.”

And the court dismissed the lawmakers’ argument that allowing the order to go through would disrupt the state’s electoral process ,as the general election is just over 10 months away.

"And even if Legislative Defendants are entitled under State law to represent the State’s interests — again, an unsettled question of state law — the timelines for drawing a new distracting plan established by this Court’s Order ... minimizes any harm to state interests," the ruling reads.

The lawmakers have also appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

However, the judges wrote in their opinion Tuesday that the factual findings the court had included in its original ruling “makes it all the more likely that the Supreme Court will affirm this Court’s judgment, regardless of what standard the Supreme Court adopts.”

The original ruling ordered the state to ensure that no more elections are run using the 2016 map and to redraw the districts ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.