Republican Leaders File Motion To Put Gerrymander Ruling On Hold

Jan 11, 2018

Republican leaders of the General Assembly are officially asking a court to put a hold on the political gerrymandering decision handed down on Tuesday.

Credit Jmturner (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This request for a stay was expected. It would effectively stop the two week clock the federal judges gave the legislature to redraw all of North Carolina's congressional districts.

And that tight timeline plays a prominent role in this emergency motion.

The request notes the Wisconsin legislature was given nine months to redraw their state level districts which were found to be partisan gerrymanders.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in that case in October. The motion states the ruling in the Wisconsin case would likely affect North Carolina's case as well.

Closer to home, the motion notes the candidate filing period is due to begin here in just about a month.

But the process of court approval for any new maps is not scheduled to be finished until after the filing period is scheduled to start.

This, lawmakers argue, would lead to chaos and may cause some would be candidates to drop out since they wouldn't know which congressional district they'd be running in.

Missing from this argument is the fact that just two years ago North Carolina's congressional election schedule was changed because of a federal ruling about gerrymandering. The primaries and candidate filing period was pushed back but the election, more or less, ran without any redistricting chaos.