Updated: The full 15-member North Carolina Court of Appeals, which has a Republican majority, reversed an earlier injunction that came down Monday morning from a three-judge panel on the court halting filing for candidates running for U.S. House and N.C. House and Senate legislative seats. Candidate filing may now begin in all North Carolina races for the March primary, though lawsuits challenging the newly-drawn congressional and legislative maps are ongoing.
On Monday morning, the day the State Board of Elections was to open candidate filing for the March primary, the North Carolina Court of Appeals halted candidate registration for U.S. House and the North Carolina House and Senate races after lawsuits challenged the heavily gerrymandered maps recently redrawn by the legislature’s GOP majority.
The maps, which were rated “F” in terms of partisan fairness by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, were passed along party lines last month. The North Carolina NAACP and Common Cause filed lawsuits claiming Republicans did not follow the correct procedure in drawing the maps by ignoring racial data.
Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon said the court order came just before 11:30 a.m. Monday, just as filing was set to open.
“The ones that are halted are the ones being challenged in the courts,” Gannon said. “All other contests will continue to file as scheduled.”
Gannon was not aware if a hearing date had been set yet. According to the injunction, plaintiffs in the case, legislative leaders, and members of the redistricting committee will have until Thursday to respond. A ruling will be issued sometime thereafter.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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