The challengers who forced the redrawing of maps used to elect N.C. General Assembly members have drawn lines of their own that they hope legislators will consider before changing the districts. In a letter sent Wednesday to legislative redistricting committees and attorneys representing the lawmakers, Anita Earls and Edwin Speas, lawyers for the challengers, contended that their analyses show the new district lines drawn by Republican mapmaker Tom Hofeller do not fix the old problem and create legal questions.
“First, it is plain that in several areas of both the House and Senate proposed maps, the constitutional violations are not cured and, indeed, the racially gerrymandering continues,” says the letter from Earls, executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Speas, a Raleigh attorney.
Earls also argued that maps presented to the public over the weekend and the supporting data released Monday show that some districts were redrawn unnecessarily, raising questions about whether lawmakers have violated the state Constitution and redrawn districts in the middle of the decade when there was no court order forcing the changes to those districts. A panel of three federal judges ordered the maps redrawn by Sept. 1 to correct 28 districts found to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, which requires changes to some but not all other districts.