The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Thursday to speed up returning to North Carolina its rulings in the case of nearly 30 legislative districts that have been declared illegal racial gerrymanders. The one-sentence denials could make it harder for a lower federal court to assemble a workable plan to hold otherwise unscheduled elections this fall under redrawn boundaries. Now it won’t be until the end of June for the justices’ judgments to be issued to the three-judge court in Greensboro. Lawyers for more than two dozen voters who successfully got 28 House and Senate districts thrown out for needlessly packing too many black voters in them wanted the judgments issued immediately. The timeline is important because attorneys for voters who sued want the lower court to act quickly on directing legislators to redraw maps and deciding whether a special election should be held. Now it’ll be another two weeks before the three judges formally receive them and act accordingly.
Republican legislative leaders had asked that the case be returned after the routine 25 days. The GOP lawmakers prefer holding the first elections under new boundaries during the next regularly scheduled state election in 2018.
Their lawyer had written Chief Justice John Roberts this week in a brief against accelerating the judgments. There wasn’t enough time to hold 2017 elections when considering requirements in state law for drawing boundaries, holding a candidate filing period and issuing absentee ballots for both primary and general elections, the lawyer wrote.
Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court won’t speed up N.C. map redistricting.