Rss@dailykos.com (kerry Eleveld) ·
Tuesday, August 01, 2017, 1:44 pm
Three federal judges late Monday gave North Carolina Republican lawmakers a kick in the pants in the form of an order requiring them to redraw state legislative maps for 28 districts by September 1. The Raleigh News and Observer writes :
At a hearing in Greensboro last week, attorneys for legislative leaders asked the judges to give lawmakers until Nov. 15 to approve new maps. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles, an Obama appointee in the U.S. Middle District of NC, and Judge James Wynn, an Obama appointee on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, raised concerns at the three-hour hearing at the lawmakers’ delay in producing new maps.
“You don’t seem serious,” Eagles said at the hearing in the federal courthouse. [...]
“We agree with Plaintiffs that the General Assembly already has had ample time to enact a remedial redistricting plan,” the judges said in their unanimous ruling. “We also agree that constitutionally adequate districts should be enacted as quickly as possible to protect the rights of North Carolina citizens and to minimize any chilling effect on political participation attributable to the continued absence of a districting plan in the face of a finding of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.”
George W. Bush appointee Thomas Schroeder shared the assessment of Eagles and Wynn:
Republicans are needlessly dragging their heels. The 28 districts were ruled unconstitutional a year ago but GOP lawmakers failed to redraw them before last year's November elections. A three-judge panel then ordered them to redraw them forthwith and hold special elections for the reconstituted districts by March of this year (those special elections will no longer be happening in 2017, for obvious reasons). Republicans appealed to the Supreme Court, which slapped them down once again with a unanimous ruling in June.
Get to it, GOP. Chop chop.