Greensboro, N.C. — A three-judge federal panel on Friday urged attorneys to move quickly in submitting motions as the legal wrangling continues after North Carolina's legislative districts were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The panel's ruling comes just 24 hours after state lawmakers voted to disregard Gov. Roy Cooper's call for an extra session to redraw voting districts. It's also a day after attorneys for voters who successfully sued asked a three-judge panel to decide quickly on a schedule to fix the districts.
The court invited attorneys for the state, legislators and the State Board of Elections to provide input "as expeditiously as possible."
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court ruling that state lawmakers illegally packed too many black voters into 19 House and nine Senate districts when they drew legislative voting maps in 2011.
"I'm pleased the court intends to act swiftly. There is no reason for Republican legislators to drag their heels in correcting this wrong after the Supreme Court affirmed their map to be unconstitutional," Cooper said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
In the coming weeks, the panel will make a final ruling on two key issues – when the new voting maps would be due and whether or not the state would hold a special election this year or wait until the next regular cycle of elections in 2018.