N.C. lawmakers to state justices: slow your role in reviewing controversial redistricting case | News
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

N.C. lawmakers to state justices: slow your role in reviewing controversial redistricting case

Posted by on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 3:57 PM

North Carolina Republicans have asked the state's Supreme Court justices not to hurry in reviewing the state’s redistricting case, because of course they have. It won’t do those lawmakers any good when the justices strike down the redistricting law—sent back to the state's highest court by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, because it packs minorities into certain districts—right in time for the 2016 elections.

According to NC Policy Watch, a left-leaning blog, lawmakers on Tuesday filed papers asking the state Supreme Court not to comply with a request from challengers to redistricting to expedite review of the redistricting lawsuit, Dickson v. Rucho, again, in time for 2016.

Redistricting opponents want the expedited review following a SCOTUS ruling on a similar redistricting case out of Alabama, in which the justices ruled that the Voting Rights Act requires lawmakers to determine whether or not minorities have the ability to choose their preferred candidate and to draw district lines accordingly. In Alabama’s case, as in North Carolina’s, lines were drawn to achieve a high concentration of black voters in a few districts. 

Lawmakers challenging the expedited review say they need more time to work on arguments for their case for redistricting that, as the Progressive Pulse blog notes, they already had prepared for the courts when they redrew the districts in the first place. They also cite scheduling conflicts with trial dates in federal voter suppression cases connected to the 2013 “election reform” law which disenfranchises virtually everyone. 

Thankfully, the North Carolina legislative branch doesn’t get to tell the judicial branch what to do. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin isn’t one to drag his feet, and he could schedule expedited review of the lawsuit as early as this summer.

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