The legislature on Thursday canceled Gov. Roy Cooper’s call for a special legislative session for redistricting, making the case that the governor’s move a day earlier was unconstitutional. The state House voted 71-44. The Senate followed suit without holding a vote, and Republicans cut off Democrats who sought to debate it on the floor. Cooper had issued a proclamation calling a 2 p.m. special session Thursday in an effort to pressure lawmakers to redraw state House and Senate election maps within the next two weeks. The proclamation called for the special session – running at the same time as the current legislative session – to run for 14 days or until new maps are passed.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a lower court ruling that found 28 legislative districts to be illegal racial gerrymanders that diluted the overall influence of black voters. But the justices vacated an order by the lower court to redraw the maps and hold special elections in 2017 in the changed districts. That three-judge panel will now reconsider the means of correcting the problem.
… Cooper spokesman Ford Porter blasted the move in a news release. “Now the Republican legislature is thumbing its nose at the North Carolina Constitution as well as the U.S. Supreme Court,” Porter said. “It’s troubling that they prefer to fight about the process rather than draw the new map that North Carolina voters deserve to level the playing field of our democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court was unanimous in its decision and there is no reason to delay the drawing of new maps.”