Well, this is not surprising: in the wake of a federal judge’s opinion that two North Carolina congressional districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered in 2011, the state has filed a motion to appeal the decision.
Lawmakers have also asked the panel of three federal judges that issued the decision to place a stay on the ruling, which prohibited any elections from taking place until the 1st and 12th districts had been redrawn in a way that didn’t pack black voters into weirdly shaped districts to try to dilute their voting power.
If the federal court won’t hold off on its order, lawmakers can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The News and Observerreports that Senate Leader Phil Berger has said he expects the court to grant the stay, given North Carolina has a primary election scheduled for March 15 and 8,611 absentee ballots have already been submitted. (The election could also be rescheduled.)
Here’s a joint statement issued by state Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, who is responsible for redrawing the maps in 2011, and state Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett:
“We trust the federal trial court was not aware an election was already underway and surely did not intend to throw our state into chaos by nullifying ballots that have already been sent out and votes that have already been cast. We hope the court will realize the serious and far-reaching ramifications of its unprecedented, eleventh-hour action and immediately issue a stay.”
Read the emergency motion below: