A federal court ruling halting the redrawing of Greensboro City Council districts has prompted plenty of finger-pointing in Raleigh, but the blame game is because of what happened at the defense table Thursday not the decision from the bench. No one showed up at the federal courthouse in Greensboro to defend the law creating the new districts, which was rammed through the General Assembly three weeks ago after hours of debate and plenty of political arm-twisting. “I was surprised that no one from the legislature filed anything,” Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn said. “They put so much time and effort into it, I thought that they would file a brief or be here in some capacity.”
Legislative leaders have given themselves the authority to defend laws they’ve passed, and they have done so for other laws, such as legislative redistricting and the marriage amendment. But in this case, they did not take any action.
Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, said the Attorney General’s Office should be defending the Greensboro law. “It is shameful that Attorney General Roy Cooper refuses to do his duty and defend state law,” Wade said in a statement Friday.
Samantha Cole, a spokeswoman for Cooper, said lawmakers were told they would need to fight Greensboro’s lawsuit themselves because the state wasn’t being sued. Greensboro officials sued the Guilford County Board of Elections, which would have to carry out the redistricting plans.