The worst-kept secret on Jones Street is that Republicans probably have maps for new legislative districts in a locked drawer somewhere. This, while they’re pretending, in court hearings, to be worried about having enough time to draw and approve new districts – as directed by courts who found 28 of their existing districts to be racially gerrymandered. But if a new map got out, Republican leaders might alienate some of their own members who might come out with a disadvantage in their re-election bids. So they appear to be stalling. And to just insult Democrats a little bit more, they’ve brought in Thomas Hofeller, a veteran GOP consultant who helped draw the 2011 maps that included those legislative and congressional districts found by no less than federal courts to be racially gerrymandered, to draw the maps again. That’s just an in-your-face move at the Democrats from a woefully immature Republican leadership that governs like a schoolyard bully.
Ah, but in court, Republicans can’t do that, evidenced by an appearance this week before three federal judges in Greensboro who went after GOP lawyers over why there has been such a delay in the drawing of new districts as ordered by the courts.
The most pointed moment in the hearing came when Phil Strach, attorney for the GOP leaders in the legislature, said challengers to the districts were being unreasonable in demanding a faster timeline for drawing the districts. Strach said the timeline would mean legislative leaders would have a tough time holding hearings about the new districts across the state.