Associated PNorth Carolina Democrats and allies continued to press Republican leaders Monday to redraw legislative maps quickly after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed last week that nearly 30 districts are illegally racially gerrymandered. Last Monday, the nation’s highest court upheld the lower court decision of three federal judges who originally tossed out the districts in August. The lower court can’t act until formally getting the case back from the Supreme Court, but the judges wrote Friday that they would “act promptly” on when new maps should be drawn and whether a special election is necessary this fall. Still, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday that new “maps should be drawn this month and an election held before next year’s legislative session. If the legislature doesn’t do its job soon, the courts should.”
“North Carolina shouldn’t hold another session or have another budget voted on by an unconstitutional legislature,” Cooper added in a release. The next session, once the current one ends, is expected to begin in spring 2018.
Cooper issued a proclamation last week to get legislators to hold a map-drawing session simultaneously with the current legislative work session. But Republicans refused to do so, saying such a meeting was unconstitutional and that drawing maps was premature.
“The courts have yet to give the legislature direction on this matter, and we will be prepared to undertake a thorough redistricting process with ample notice and opportunities for public input when they do,” Republican Sen. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County said last week.