North Carolina GOP seeks Supreme Court intervention in voting map dispute
Top Republican lawmakers in North Carolina on Friday asked the Supreme Court to halt state court rulings that struck down new GOP-drawn voting districts as unfairly partisan and replaced the Republican map with one drawn by outside experts.
In their emergency filing, GOP lawmakers asked the court to temporarily block the state court-imposed map while the justices consider a forthcoming appeal.
“The United States Constitution is clear – state legislatures, not state judges, are responsible for setting the rules governing elections,” North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, one of the applicants, said in a statement. “By striking the General Assembly’s congressional map and redrawing their own, with the help of Democrat partisans, the courts have, once again, violated the separation of powers.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles emergency matters from North Carolina, asked the respondents in the case — a group of North Carolina Democratic voters and voting rights advocates — to respond by Wednesday.
The latest development in the voting map feud comes after a flurry of activity this month in North Carolina state courts over the once-per-decade redistricting process.
In early February, the North Carolina Supreme Court voted 4-3 to strike down Republican-drawn legislative and congressional maps as violating the state constitution, saying the new redistricting plans amounted to “unlawful partisan gerrymanders.”
The majority returned the case to a lower court and ordered new maps to be submitted by Feb. 18.
On Wednesday, the Raleigh-based lower court rejected this latest GOP effort. The court said the districts failed to comply with the standards laid out by the North Carolina Supreme Court and replaced the GOP-made map with one drawn by four nonpartisan redistricting experts.
In a separate redistricting dispute earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s controversial new congressional maps could stay in place while it reviews a legal challenge, overruling a lower court that had ordered the state to redraw its districts in order to give Black voters better representation.
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