An outside expert appointed by a federal court to help redraw some North Carolina legislative districts that judges worry remained unconstitutional — including at least two in Guilford County — has suggested changes. On Monday, Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily filed his preliminary House and Senate plans. He also requested formal responses from Republican legislative leaders who originally drew the boundaries and from voters who successfully sued over them. Judges want Persily’s final proposal by Dec. 1. Judges have said four districts redrawn last summer by GOP legislators still appeared to preserve illegal racial bias, so Persily said he redrew compact replacements for them. He also retooled several districts in and around Charlotte and Raleigh because of potential state constitutional problems.
It’s not immediately clear how alterations could affect the GOP’s legislative majorities.
At issue is a 2015 lawsuit by 31 voters from various parts of the state who contended that the GOP-led legislature’s 2011 voting maps for state House and Senate districts apportioned black voters in ways that suppressed their statewide impact to ensure continuing Republican control in the General Assembly.