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Redistricting maps head to court

Posted December 15, 2011
Updated December 16, 2011

Friday marks the first court proceeding for a pair of legal challenges to the state's new redistricting maps. 

A three-judge panel will hold a 10 a.m. hearing at Campbell Law School in Raleigh to decide what the timeline for the challenges will be, and whether the two lawsuits against the maps should be combined into one case.

The plaintiffs challenging the maps want the process to move quickly. They're asking the panel to rule on the maps by or before Feb 13th, the beginning of the 2012 filing period. That way, if the panel rejects the maps, new ones could be drawn before the election.  

NC congressional districts challenged in court NC congressional districts challenged in court

Attorneys for the state say that's unrealistic. They say it'll take several months to prepare their cases. They're arguing that the 2012 elections could take place as scheduled under the new maps while the challenge goes on in court.  

Who's who:

The three judges named to the panel are Wake County Judge Paul Ridgeway (presiding), Halifax County Judge Alma Hinton, and Iredell County Judge Joseph Crosswhite. 

Two sets of attorneys will defend the Republican-drawn maps: Alec Peters and Susan Nichols from the Attorney General's office will argue on behalf of all defendants, while redistricting expert Thomas Farr will appear as independent counsel to GOP lawmakers. He may be joined by Phil Strach, also with Ogletree Deakins. 

On the other side of the courtroom, Eddie Speas and John O’Hale from Poyner Spruill will be arguing for the Dickson v. Rucho plaintiffs, while Southern Coalition for Social Justice director Anita Earls and attorney Adam Stein will represent the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and other plaintiffs in the NAACP et al. v. North Carolina lawsuit.

Judge Ridgeway couldn't say whether the panel will rule from the bench tomorrow. It's more likely they'll release a ruling sometime in the next few days. 

34 Comments

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  • Rico Dec 20, 2011

    anything they can do to make sure Obama wont win.... to bad it wont work
    Click to view my profile still 1of theOriginalAmericans

    Yes it will work .. comrade...yes it will

  • CrewMax Dec 16, 2011

    The duplicity of Barber and the dems never ceases to amaze me. Why have one standard when you can have a double standard? We really need lose pays in this state.

  • Lost and Loaded Dec 16, 2011

    This gerrymandering of voting districts by both sides has to stop. Some of the current districts make no sense other than to target a specific class of people based on their voting history. The Republican idea makes more sense - by population alone and I would add that every attempt should be made to not have one county split in to multiple districts unless it is just too populous for one. Every district should be about equal in population. Socio-economic and voting history should not come into play at all when determining district layout and geography. County lines and population densities would be saner boundaries and be more equitable for all.

  • SaveEnergyMan Dec 16, 2011

    The old districts are so bad that the Discovery Channel show - How the States Got Their Shapes mocked two of the districts - and even commented how Gerry (of gerrymandering fame) himself would have been impressed with the 12th district.

    Not a big fan of either party. I think it should be done by a computer, running all of the combinations of contiguous counties that gets the closest to the state's population divided by 13 (districts). Wake and Meck will have to be divided into precents because they are bigger than one district in population. Not a hard code to write, but it would take a while to run.

  • cwood3 Dec 16, 2011

    Stop complaining-loosing stinks-get used to it Dems. Gonna be that way for a while in NC. When you rape and pillage like you did for 100 plus years, people remember!!

  • faperrigo Dec 16, 2011

    There is no such thing as an 'independent' commission. Someone has to appoint such. I have never had the 'representative of my choice' since I have lived in NC (since 1985). This new map gives conservative voters like me a chance to vote for someone that would represent me and the majority of my county.

  • Dirty_Water Dec 16, 2011

    Miller unemployed? My initial thought was that Bev would invent a high-paying state "position" for any rejected Democrat... but I forgot that she won't be there.

  • mep Dec 16, 2011

    The 13th district was designed with the liberal Democrat Brad Miller written all over it. It will be nice to see him unemployed.

  • westernwake1 Dec 16, 2011

    So the Democrats gerry-mandered the voting maps every decade for 100 years, and now that the Republicans hold the legislature they do the same thing and the Democrats are mad about it.

    What comes around goes around.

    The reality the entire system is insane. There should be an independent commission that defines voting districts with the requirement that each voting district be basically rectangular in shape. The current layout of our voting districts for the sake of politics in North Carolina is obscene.

  • derekbooton Dec 16, 2011

    I want you, and I want you, but I don't want you cause you may vote the wrong way.... You look at the proposed map, and the word pitiful comes to mind.

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