Attorneys for North Carolina’s legislative defendants urged Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay of a lower-court order that recently imposed new state House and Senate districts in the Greensboro area and several other parts of the state. They said a three-judge panel based in Greensboro mistakenly bought into arguments by civil rights activists that the lawyers for three, current Republican leaders and one former GOP legislator called illogical and unconstitutional. “In sum, plaintiffs did not properly challenge the 2017 law … and their federal law objections rest on the Orwellian claim that the legislature engaged in racial gerrymandering by not considering race,” lead lawyer Paul Clement and several others said in the petition filed Monday.
They want Roberts or the full Supreme Court to issue a stay of the order by the three-judge panel which adopted redrawn districts for several state House and two state Senate seats in Guilford County in order to combat vestiges of racial gerrymandering dating back to 2011.
They also want the stay applied to similar districts redrawn under the panel’s supervision to erase racial bias prohibited by federal voting-rights law near Fayetteville and Goldsboro, as well as to five others redrawn elsewhere that allegedly violate the state constitution’s ban on excessive mid-decade redistricting.