The Pulse

NC Republicans appeal redistricting case to U.S. Supreme Court

By: - February 25, 2022 5:49 pm

Republican legislators are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court the state court decisions that led to their maps for new congressional districts being thrown out.

Republican lawmakers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to put a freeze on use of the court-ordered congressional plan. The request for a stay says the state courts usurped the legislature’s authority.

Candidate filing started Thursday under new congressional districts drawn by a state trial court with the advice of special masters.

The state Supreme Court rejected Republicans legislators’ first set of plans for legislative and congressional districts earlier this month, saying they were pro-Republican partisan gerrymanders that violated the state constitution.

The legislature created three new redistricting plans last week. A three-judge panel accepted the plans for state House and Senate districts but replaced the congressional map.

In a radio interview earlier this month, House Speaker Tim Moore said Republicans were considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a court filing this week, GOP lawyers said using court-created congressional districts was a possible violation of federal law, NC Policy Watch reported.

“In what is a disappointing, but not surprising, act by this legislative majority, Legislative Defendants are outrageously asking the United States Supreme Court to insert itself into state law in an unprecedented way,” Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice said in a statement.

Riggs is co-executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and its chief counsel for voting rights. She represented Common Cause in its effort to get the original redistricting plans invalidated.

“As recently as 2019, the Supreme Court said state courts are empowered to rely on state constitutions and state law to reign in partisan gerrymandering,” her statement said.  “We are confident this specious attempt to undermine our judiciary will be rejected.”

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Lynn Bonner
Lynn Bonner

Investigative Reporter Lynn Bonner covers the state legislature and politics, as well as elections, the state budget, public and mental health, safety net programs and issues of racial equality.